Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Base Guide
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is a North Carolina Marine Corps base located on the state’s east side, approximately 90 miles from Cape Hatteras.
MCAS Cherry Point supports the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and the Marine Corps Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East. Learn more about MCAS Cherry Point below, including information on MCAS Cherry Point housing, child care, education, and the local area.
MCAS Cherry Point Base History
Construction on MCAS Cherry Point started in December 1941, just before Pearl Harbor. In 1942, the facility was designated Cunningham Field. Eventually, the site was redesignated MCAS Cherry Point. It has supported a variety of Marine Air Wings as well as supporting the Naval Aviation Depot (from 1946 to the present.)
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s earliest missions included serving as a training site for troops headed for the Pacific theater. It also served as a home base for anti-submarine warfare operations. The Air Station has provided support for nearly many major operations:
- World War II
- Korean War
- Cuban Missile Crisis
- Dominican Republic
- Vietnam War
- Desert Storm
MCAS Cherry Point and support locations include nearly 30 thousand acres; Cherry Point’s runway system is so large it was designated as an emergency landing site for Space Shuttle missions out of Cape Canaveral in Florida.
MCAS Cherry Point Surrounding Area
The surrounding area near Havelock offers outdoor recreation and local history; many take in the Croatan National Forest, Pine Cliffs Recreation Area, and a short drive away in Newport, Civil War buffs will find the Battle of Newport Barracks Civil War Memorial Park.
When stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, many explore the surrounding cities, including Jacksonville and New Bern.
Larger cities are farther away; Raleigh, North Carolina, is approximately two hours from the Air Station. Many who drive to Raleigh also go a bit further to explore amenities at nearby Camp Lejeune.
MCAS Cherry Point Mission and Units
MCAS Cherry Point is the home of Marine Transport Squadron 1, which has, in the past, supported military search and rescue and medical evacuation.
Today the squadron “continues to operate the McDonnell Douglas C-9 Skytrain and the Cessna UC-35 Citation II in support of worldwide personnel transport for DOD,” according to the DoD.
Units at MCAS Cherry Point have included the following:
- 2nd LAAD BN
- 2nd MAW
- Aviation Survival Training Center Cherry Point
- CNATT MARUNIT
- MTACS-28 Bogue Field
- MWSS-271 Bogue Field
- Naval Aviation Depot
In-Processing and Check-In
Check-in procedures will vary depending on which branch of service you are in. If you are not a Marine but need to check in, contact your gaining unit for their procedures.
Marines arriving at the base on PCS or TDY orders should contact the Installation Personnel Administration Center at (252) 466-5019/8146. Marines arriving after working hours must check in at Building 1.
If you are arriving on PCS orders and serve in the Navy, check in at the Welcome Center at the main gate. After duty hours, Navy personnel should check in at the Naval Clinic QuarterDeck. Be advised this operation is not staffed around the clock—call (252) 466-0266 for more information.
MCAS Cherry Point Commissary
The Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Commissary is located at:
Roosevelt Blvd & ” E” Street
Cherry Point, NC 28533
Three Child Development Centers serve MCAS Cherry Point. Due to high demand, waiting lists may apply, it is best to contact the CDC as soon as you have PCS orders to the Air Station.
Options include full-time care for children between six weeks and 5 years of age, with meals provided. CDC full-time childcare fees are based on total family income.
There are also hourly care options for children six weeks to 12 years of age. Hourly care reservations are possible two weeks in advance. Learn more at 910-466-3491. Call to learn about sign-up procedures, payment options, and space available.
MCAS Cherry Point Housing
Housing at Cherry Point is privatized and operated by Atlantic Marine Corps Communities. Waiting lists may apply, and it’s best to contact the installation housing office prior to entering into any legally binding agreement for housing. Once you receive PCS orders, fill out a DD Form 1746, Application for Housing, and forward it to the the Cherry Point Housing Department (call 252-466-3602 to learn where to send it) no later than 10 days before your depart your current duty station.
PCS and TDY Lodging
The Cherry Point Inn, formerly known as BOQ, offers temporary lodging for those traveling to Cherry Point on PCS or TDY orders. PCS and TDY season can make these rooms scarce depending on when you try to book.
According to the official site, “When quarters are not available, a non-availability chit will be issued permitting the PCSing service member and family to use off-base lodging. It is always a good idea to call ahead.”
Call 252-466-5169 for room rates and availability. Pet-friendly facilities may not be available, and it’s not safe to assume you can bring a pet to the Cherry Point Inn without prior arrangements in advance. Contact the Base Housing Referral office at 252-466-2732 to learn the options for off-post rentals.
Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern is the nearest airport to Cherry Point. Another option; Albert J. Ellis Airport in Onslow County, about 65 miles from Cherry Point. Ride-sharing services, local shuttles, and taxis may be available from the airport depending on your arrival time and other variables.
The distances involved may make the journey pricier than you might expect. Coordinate your arrival with your sponsor or gaining unit ahead of time for best results.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Privately owned vehicles driving on and off-post at MCAS Cherry Point must carry the minimum insurance required by the state. To enter and drive at MCAS Cherry Point, your tags and registration must also be current.
This installation requires registration of your vehicle. Visit Pass And ID and be sure to bring the following:
- State driver’s license
- Unexpired ID card
- Unexpired state vehicle registration
- Proof of valid NC liability insurance
- Copy of Title Application Page when license plates have been transferred\
Registration for all vehicles is required, whether permanent or temporary. You may be subject to 100% ID checks when entering the base using a Common Access Card, REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or other ID.
MCAS Cherry Point Schools
Many assigned to Cherry Point will send school-age children to Craven County Schools. This option is for those in family housing and for those living in the following communities:
- New Bern
- Cove City
North Carolina law requires all new students to take a health assessment not later than 12 months before enrollment. New student registration requirements may include the following documents:
- Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate
- Proof of residency (tax statement, rental or lease agreement, dated residence contract, or current utility bill)
- Picture ID
- Current immunization records
- Previous school withdrawal forms
- Copy of the most recent report card or school transcript for high school students
Contact the MCAS Cherry Point School Liaison Office at 252-466-7648 for more information.
MCAS Cherry Point Colleges and Universities
The Cherry Point Education Office in the Jerry Marvel Training & Education Building can help if you want to explore higher education while stationed at MCAS Cherry Point.
Call them to learn about your options at 252-466-3500. Craven Community College, East Carolina University and Park University offer on-post college options for higher education.
Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide
MCAS Cherry Point
Postal Service Center Box 8003
Marine Corps Air Station
Cherry Point, NC 28533-0003
- Base Information (252) 466-2811
- Range Notifications (252) 466-0051
- Military Personnel Locator (252) 466-2811
- Transient Enlisted Quarters (252) 466-3060
- Noise Complaint Hotline (252) 466-1092
- Command Duty Officer (252) 466-5236
- Cherry Point Dental (252) 466-0401
- Cherry Point Inn (252) 466-5169
- Regional Personnel Administration Center (252) 466-7062
Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.