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Navy's senior officer makes historic visit to NAF El Centro

February 23, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

For the first time in its history, Naval Air Facility El Centro on Thursday was visited by the Navy's senior officer.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark said the reason for his visit was he had heard highly from other Navy officers about the growth at the base and support from the community for the facility.

"It's impressive, the support," he said.

"There are elements supporting our base and I want everybody to know how important it is," he added.

"We are getting an important return on our investment here," he said.

He said the open air space around the base and consistently clear flying conditions give the base a great benefit. The base serves as a training ground for Navy pilots and others from squadrons around the world and is the winter home for the Blue Angels, the Navy's precision flying team.

Clark became the 27th chief of naval operations on July 21, 2000.

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Clark arrived at the facility Thursday morning and left about 3 p.m.

He visited with staff and was given a tour of the base.

"It's a great compliment he came down here to the Imperial Valley," said Donna Corvin, NAF El Centro public affairs officer.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

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