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Navy "OLF" Landing Site Moved To Pamlico Sound
Hobucken Residents Cheer Patriotic Vessel
April 1, 2005

A
recent legal decision ruled that the Navy must complete further environmental impact studies regarding the controversial Outlying Landing Field (“OLF”) in Washington and Beaufort counties. The Navy has countered by simply moving the location.


Admiral Z.Z. McKenzie shows the route taken by the carrier.
“We thought flying over Lake Mattamuskeet wouldn’t of bothered nobody” said Navy Admiral Z.Z. McKenzie, “but since those rabble rousers got in the way we thought we best just go ahead and use a place we already have rights to fly over.”

The place is the prohibited zone just east of the Bay River, near Hobucken. The Navy has brought in an aircraft carrier and moored it there – bypassing government red tape in the process.

Admiral McKenzie spoke to the NewsExtra news team Friday about the challenges of getting the carrier into place.

“Now a carrier of this class draws 40 feet of water, which may seem to be a problem in navigating near Hobucken. She’s nuclear, and we got her up to a full 35 knots coming in to the Ocracoke Channel. She weighs 80,000 tons, and when we hit the 4 foot depths it hardly slowed her. That ship just glided right through the muck, and slid right into her new spot pretty as she could be.”


The aircraft carrier at speed crossing the Pamlico Sound. Here the carrier slows to 20 knots as she pushes through Brant I Shoal.
An added benefit to Pamlico Sound boaters is that there is now a dredged 40 foot channel from Ocracoke Inlet all the way to the Bay River.


This chart shows the route (in blue) used by the carrier to get to the prohibited zone near Hobucken (shaded red).
The new OLF location will use existing training facilities east and north of Bay River, expanding the range of those restrictions across the western half of the Pamlico Sound. In documents obtained by TownDock.net’s NewsExtra news team the sum total of the restricted area would extend from Hobucken to the tip of Brant I Shoal and south as far as the Neuse River Junction.

Thrilled Hobucken residents line up to catch a glimpse of the nearby aircraft carrier.

“We understand some folks are upset,” McKenzie stated. “We would have preferred to use the Washington county site. But given the necessity to have a new training facility in place we had to move forward with an alternative location. This new site in the Pamlico Sound insures that the training of American pilots will not be disrupted.”

Because of the size and length of the aircraft carrier and the required security buffer around the practice area, most of the lower Pamlico Sound will be off limits to civilian vessels during flight training exercises.

Boat traffic navigating the ICW from Belhaven south to Oriental and Beaufort will be re-routed across the Pamlico Sound, through the Ocracoke Inlet and around Cape Lookout.

As a result, much ICW traffic will no longer visit Oriental.

“It might sound a bit inconvenient” says McKenzie, “but Ocracoke Inlet is now at 40 foot depth. People should be thankful, and true patriotic boaters will consider the detour as the ‘freedom bypass.’”


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