Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB) will become known as "Brunswick Landing: Maine's Center for Innovation" upon closing in May 2011, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) announced Tuesday.
Public reaction to the new name has been "very positive," said Executive Director of MRRA Steve Levesque.
Levesque said the name embodied the purpose and the aspirations of the redeveloped base; the MRRA Web site describes it as "a special place to land good ideas and then watch them take off."
FlightLevel Aviation, with which the MRRA is still negotiating, will take over the airfield, which Levesque expects to be used for anything from maintenance to charter flights.
According to the Brunswick Times Record, the new name was chosen from a list of 77 possibilities suggested by the public, the MRRA and marketing consultants. Suggestions variously referenced the MRRA's high-tech focus, Bowdoin or its best-known alumni, the P-3 Orion aircraft that was once based at NASB, or the Abenaki tribe of Native Americans that originally inhabited what is now Brunswick.
The MRRA is waiting for the Navy to release its environmental impact statement, expected this summer, so that it can move forward with more concrete plans for the land. Levesque hopes to have some buildings transferred from the Navy's use and ready for business before the May 2011 closure date.
NASB's Wing 5, the organizational parent of NASB's departed squadrons, was officially disestablished on Tuesday. The Medical Clinic and Galley closed Wednesday, and Weapons will close soon, said NASB Public Affairs Officer John Ripley.
From Monday, March 22 through Friday, March 26, NASB participated in an annual nationwide security exercise called Exercise Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield.
Ripley said the exercise was less eventful at NASB than at other installations, some of which faced scenarios ranging from cyberattacks to small boat attacks.
The principal element of NASB's participation came during a period of less than one hour on March 24, when the base's Force Protection Condition (FPCON) level was raised to Delta, the highest level. FPCON, an analogue to the well-known Defense Readiness Condition (DEFCON) system, measures the terrorist threat to military facilities.
The Delta level would ordinarily only be implemented in the event of a recent or in-progress terrorist attack.