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Resolution Urging Protection of Joint Base Heads to Christie

Defense budget cuts could spur new talk of base closures in New Jersey

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
A resolution urging the U.S. Congress to exclude two key New Jersey military installations from future cuts to the defense budget is on its way to the desk of Gov. Chris Christie.

Earlier this month, for U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton said the Joint Base is facing new challenges, including future rounds of sequestration and cuts to the national defense budget as well as the retirement of certain aircraft based at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Saxton called for the state to appropriate funding to hire a lobbyist who has had previous success preventing parts of the three-service base from closure when all three were separate entities.

“The McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst base is a critical component to our county’s military defense and our states commerce,” said state Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean), who sponsored the resolution. “The base currently employs thousands of residents and civilians to maintain our country’s military defense while generating revenue for the region’s economy.”

The resolution also calls for Picatinny Arsenal, located in Rockaway Township, Morris County, to be saved from future base realignments, which could come as early as 2017.

McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst employs more than 44,000 civilian and military employees and contributes approximately $6.9 billion into the area’s economy. Picatinny is one of the largest employers in Morris County, with over 3,900 civilians, nearly 100 military personnel and approximately 1,035 contractors employed there.

"With the closure of Ft. Monmouth in 2011, local businesses were forced to shut down because thousands of civilian and military jobs were either outsourced to other states or terminated," said state Assemblyman David Wolfe (R-Ocean), another sponsor. "McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Picatinny Arsenal are needed now more than ever to maintain job growth and boost our economy."

The resolution passed unanimously in both chambers of the state government.

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