BRUNSWICK — The Navy is formally ending a presence in Brunswick that dates back nearly 70 years, paving the way for the private sector to continue redeveloping the site.

About 1,000 people attended today’s closing ceremony at Brunswick Naval Air Station featuring Navy officials, local dignitaries and Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

Capt. William Fitzgerald, the base commander, says that while people can feel sentimental about the base closing, it’s important to look to the future. And he says the future is bright for the redevelopment of the 3,500-acre property.

Fitzgerald says 30 percent of the base already has been transferred or is under a lease or license. The remainder will be transferred to civilian authorities through the fall. The Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close the base in 2005.