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Navy seeks night-flying facility

March 25, 2008 at 9:59 PM

NORFOLK, Va., March 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's top admiral said Tuesday the service will push for a new practice landing strip in Virginia or North Carolina.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, said he would help garner local support for the project by emphasizing the importance of pilot training for night landings aboard aircraft carriers, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.

"We have to have a place where pilots can go fly that best replicates the environment that they're going to experience," he said.

The newspaper reported the Navy wants to build a landing strip in a remote area where pilots can practice landings and takeoffs in near total darkness near the Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, the Navy's East Coast master jet base.

The Navy jettisoned plans for a $250 million night-flying facility in Washington County, N.C., amid opposition from local residents.

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