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PRESS RELEASECity of BeaufortContact: W. Prokopwprokop@cityofbeaufort.org843-525-7078March 28, 2019
“The Sound of Freedom, a Beaufort Tradition”
Beaufort legend, Pat Conroy, wrote about it in the “Great Santini” and Beaufort Residents have turned their heads towards the heavens since the commissioning of Naval Air Station Beaufort on June 15th, 1943, as jets from “Fightertown” fill our skies. The jet culture in Beaufort is alive and well.
In an announcement last week, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort (MCAS BEAUFORT) reminded residents of the City of Beaufort to expect an increase in air operations, and therefore the “Sound of Freedom” in our skies over the coming months. It is expected to last 10 months to a year.
Three key factors are attributing to the increase.
One, all five F/A-18 squadrons are home on the base and operating normally. This is the legacy fighter jet platform the Marine Corps has operated since the early 1980’s.
Two, there is a general increase in the training of and production of F-35B pilots, who are trained aboard MCAS Beaufort.
Three, the main runway, that most people see while passing MCAS on Highway 21, runway 5/23, will be closing for repairs. This will shift all jet traffic to the secondary runway, which runs perpendicular to the main runway. That runway, runway 14/32 points jets on departure and approach at the Pigeon Point Neighborhood of the City of Beaufort.
There is not a date set yet when the runway switch will occur.