03/04/04 — County billboard campaign to stress link with base

View Archive

County billboard campaign to stress link with base

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on March 4, 2004 2:01 PM


Wayne County will be showing its support of its Air Force base in a big way, starting later this month.

Five billboards across the county will feature new signs proclaiming "Wayne County, Proud Home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base." The billboards will be up through 2005.

They're intended to catch the eye of Pentagon officials and others who will be reviewing Seymour Johnson and all military bases for the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. Local support is considered in the BRAC review.

But they are also a reminder to residents of how important the base is to the economy, County Manager Lee Smith said today. "Seymour Johnson has a nearly $1 billion impact on our economy. Nothing else comes close."

The signs were designed by Michelle Blackwell, marketing coordinator for the Wayne County Economic Development Commission. Smith asked the commission, which has sponsored previous "community pride" billboards, to set up the campaign, although the county will ultimately pay for the signs, a cost of around $25,500.

The billboards, depict a mid-air refueling of an F-15E Strike Eagle by a KC-135R Stratotanker. Both aircraft are stationed at Seymour Johnson.

Beginning around mid-month, Fairway Outdoors will be erecting the signs in five of its locations. Motorists entering Goldsboro on U.S. 70 from the east will see a billboard near Jeffreys Distributing Co. From the west, they'll see one near Wilber's Barbecue restaurant.

On U.S. 117, one billboard will be near the Belfast community, while another will be near Bobby Denning Furniture. The fifth sign will be on U.S. 117 Alternate in Mount Olive.