Source: The Messenger-Press -
Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced a resolution in the Assembly that expresses support for the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and urges Congress and the Department of Defense to keep the facility open.
Recently, the Army’s assistant secretary for Installations, Energy and Environment testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Army needs another round of base realignments and closures in 2017.
“The Joint Base is an integral part of our country’s military and defense program,” said Assemblyman Dancer (R-12). “These facilities provide multiple benefits to each branch of the service and have shown their extraordinary value over the years. The Joint Base remains a viable operation and plays a vital role in New Jersey’s economy as the state’s second largest employer. Congress and the Base Realignment and Closure Commission will surely recognize the value of this military resource and its important role in New Jersey’s economy.”
In a press release announcing the resolution (AR-116), Mr. Dancer pointed out that nearly 35,000 people are employed full-time at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. It produces over 16,000 jobs in the state in addition to the full-time personnel at the Joint Base and contributes approximately $4.2 billion in statewide gross domestic product.
He also referenced the 2011 closing of Fort Monmouth Army Base, which was selected for closure by the BRAC in 2005. Most Army functions and personnel were required to be moved to other Army facilities.
“”We have already seen the impact a base closing has on our economy and the residents who work at the base and the businesses that rely on its operation,” he said. “The area surrounding Ft. Monmouth is still recovering, but there is no question of the adverse impact it had on people’s lives and the commerce it provided.”
According to the release, while there has been no official indication that the Joint Base is vulnerable to the BRAC, the potential harm to the state’s economy, jobs and national security of such a closure spurred Mr. Dancer to take the resolution to protect the base from potential consideration.