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Sea Power

VC-8's Services Are No Longer Required

By Richard R Burgess

June 1, 2003
Copyright © 2003 Sea Power, ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights reserved. 
Copyright © 2003 Navy League of the United States Jun 2003. All rights reserved.

Volume 46, Issue 6; ISSN: 0199-1337

VC-8's services are no longer required by the fleet now that the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility on Vieques Island has been closed. As required by law, the Navy turned over the facility on 30 April 2003 to the U.S. Department of the Interior following several years of opposition from many Puerto Ricans, including invasive demonstrations and political protests against the Navy's amphibious training and live bombing on the Vieques ranges. The Navy and Marine Corps had used the facility for live-fire training since 1947. Naval gunfire training now is conducted at Camp Lejeune, N.C.; the aerial bombing training previously conducted on Vieques now is carried out on ranges in Florida. The Department of the Navy retains responsibility for the removal of all temporary structures and for the environmental cleanup of the Vieques property, which will be developed as a wildlife refuge.

In a related development, the Navy has withdrawn the last Seabees-Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74-deployed to Camp Moscrip at Roosevelt Roads, ending 34 years of Seabee presence in Puerto Rico.

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