Ground breaking for military aircraft facility at N.C. Global TransPark in Kinston Tuesday

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – A new military aircraft maintenance facility broke ground Tuesday afternoon.

The U.S. Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center East C-130 Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul complex will be located at the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston.

Officials say this site will create 400 new jobs and generate $400 million in new investments for the area.

“What’s going on is much different than what people remember from the past and it really is a bright spot,” said Republican State Senator, Jim Perry. “It couldn’t have happened to a better place than Eastern North Carolina and we greatly appreciate our partnership with the military.”

The U.S. Navy will use the complex to maintain and repair aircraft from the Marine Corps and Navy.

“As the most military-friendly state in America, I’m proud that the Global TransPark has become a magnet for aerospace investment that supports the mission of our fighting men and women,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This FRC East expansion is a monumental investment in Eastern North Carolina that will create more than 400 great jobs to keep our C-130s in top flying condition.”

“Refurbishing planes is a big deal,” Perry said. “Not only is it big from an economic driver standpoint, but it also keeps our military at the top of the line of readiness and gives us the military capabilities we need.”

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says construction is expected to start on the 700,000-square-foot complex later this year. It is expected to last until September 2026.

“This massive MRO complex, with over 16 acres under one roof and over 400 new jobs, will be transformative for the GTP,” said Tom Hendrickson, chairman of the N.C. Global TransPark Authority’s Board of Directors. “The new facility is a testament to the strength of our partnership with Fleet Readiness Center East. It is our largest and most significant collaboration to date, offering unparalleled support for military aviation maintenance while also boosting economic prosperity in our community.”

Several groups teamed up to bring the complex to the area. Along with the Navy and Global TransPark, those include the North Carolina Economic Development Region, N.C. General Assembly, NCDOT, North Carolina Community College System, Golden LEAF Foundation, Fleet Readiness Center East, Lenoir County and Kinston.