Multi-nation military training exercise coming to Swansboro


By Mike McHugh

Swansboro has always been on people’s radar.

For centuries, from Native Americans to European traders, from local waterman to Marines and Sailors, The Friendly City by the Sea has always been designated as a destination or waypoint to travelers, mariners and aviators.

For two days in May, the longitude and latitude of Swansboro–34.6877° N, 77.1191° W—will be programmed into military fixed wing and rotor aircraft as a portion of “Burmese Chase,” an annual exercise hosted by Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies comes to the skies and streets of Swansboro.

Aircraft and personnel will be on the ground and overhead Swansboro for 12 hours beginning at noon on May 14. Training will resume May 15 at noon and conclude 12 hours later, according to Nat Fahy, director, Communications Strategy and Operations, Marine Corps Installations East, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.

Fahy said people can expect to see light attack helicopters and fixed-wing fighter jets overhead guided by teams of three to five personnel on the ground using hand-held communication devices to communicate with the aircraft. Fahy said the helicopters will operate at an altitude above 2,000 feet while jets will maintain flight levels above 7,000 feet.

Ground personnel will be dressed in civilian attire and will be driving unmarked vehicles, according to Fahy. “There will be no firing of simulated weapons or munitions, Fahy wrote in an email to the SACC. “Overall, the impact on the civilian population will be very minimal.”

Fahy said that Swansboro was chosen as an exercise site because of its “urban environment that cannot be replicated on Camp Lejeune,”

Aviation and crew elements from HMLA-269, HMLA-167 and VMGR-252 will be joining Norwegian, Dutch, French, Canadian and British troops, according to Fahy.

Contact Mike McHugh at 910-326-1174 or email