The Dare County Bombing Range or "Navy Dare" is located in Dare County, North Carolina. The range serves as an air to surface bombing range for the United States Navy. The range is also used for some select special operations (such as SEALs) training due to its remote location and harsh landscapes. The traffic is mostly light jet aircraft dropping 25 lb to 2000 lb dummy bombs. The most common sights at the range are the F/A-18 Hornet, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, and the T-34 Mentor.
2011 Events and Controversy
Articles were released by local Dare County media agencies in May 2011 about the range's manager Harry Mann. A large group of government agencies showed up at Mann's home at noon with a search warrant. Items were reported to have been removed. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Logistics Agency - Office of Inspector General, the North Carolina Department of Transportation's License and Theft Bureau and the Dare County Sheriff's Office were present at his home on the day of the search. No further information has been available about the incident.
The Navy later issued a statement saying that Mann was still in his position at the range.
The range has long held an annual open house for the public the third Thursday of July. However there was no open house in 2011. When questioned range staff said they could not reveal why there would be no open house. No information was publicly released on why there was no open house.
As of July 2012 Harry Mann has been removed from his position at Navy Dare. His son has also been removed as supervisor of contractors for Northrup Grumman. Northrup Grumman has taken over operations of the range and has closed access to all civilians. All open houses have been cancelled. Only 2 Civil Service employees are left. All other employees are contractors.
The Navy will still not comment on the status of Harry Mann. It is believed that was "retired" but it is not known if he is receiving retiremant pay. At one point Levenworth was mentioned but the Navy did not follow up on that option.
Harry Mann was indicted by a federal grand jury on 2 April 2013 for theft of government property while operating as manager of the Navy Dare bombing range. Mann is accused of removing thousands of pounds of "parts, materials, vehicles, scrap metal and various heavy equipment machines" from the bombing range. These items were then sold to local salvage companies and other unknown corporations for personal profit. The court is seeking funds totaling 6,743,865.40 USD. Mann is scheduled to appear in court on 24 April 2013.
On 26 April 2013 Mann's lawyer asked the court for permissions to change the travel conditions to allow Mann to leave the country. Mann is requesting to accompany his family on a cruise to the Bahamas that was previously planned in July 2012. The prosecution opposed this request on the basis that Mann is a big flight risk and may have made the travels plans in expectation of the indictment. In late May a U.S. District Judge ruled in favor of Mann and is allowing him to take the cruise. He is ordered to return his passport by 3 June.
Since April 2013 there has been no new information publicly available on the situation, with the exception that Mann's federal trial is now scheduled for May 5, 2014.
- Jeff Hampton (4 June 2011). "N.C. bombing range manager removed after raid on his home". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- A youtube video of an F/A-18 performing a low pass by the tower at Navy Dare.
- United States of America v. Harry C. Mann ( Full indictment )