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WHEREAS, for more than 75 years, Naval Air Station Oceana has supported the Fleet, the Fighter, and the Family and provided the resources for our Navy and Marines to train and conduct air, land, and sea operations; and
WHEREAS, in August 1943, the US Navy commissioned Naval Auxiliary Air Field Oceana as a landing practice field for wartime aircraft stationed at Naval Air Station Norfolk; and
WHEREAS, in 1952, the newly named Naval Air Station Oceana became the Navy’s premier East Coast Master Jet Base; and
WHEREAS, Navy jets have lined the skies over Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, including the F-2 Banshee, the F-9 Panther, the FJ-3 Fury, the F-4 Phantom, the A-6 Intruder, the F-14 Tomcat and now, the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet; and
WHEREAS, the Navy is the largest employer in Hampton Roads, with Naval Air Station Oceana contributing nearly $1.3 billion to the economy; and
WHEREAS, the location of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake has allowed over 17,000 Sailors, Marines, and civilian employees to interact with the greater community, building partnerships across academia, industry, commerce, and the sharing of cultures with the citizens of Hampton Roads; and
WHEREAS, these brave Americans have demonstrated their courage and commitment to freedom by serving the Armed Forces of the United States both on Active Duty and in the National Guard and Reserves;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 16, 2018, as NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANA DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.