FORT MONMOUTH – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, the prime sponsor of three new laws designed to improve conditions for New Jersey’s military bases in an effort to avoid consideration by the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) Commission, issued the following statement concerning reports that Fort Monmouth was listed on the BRAC Commission’s recommendation list for closure:
“I am extremely disappointed to see that Fort Monmouth was on the BRAC Commission’s recommendation list. The closing of this facility would have widespread detrimental effects that will be felt for years to come in the 12th legislative district and surrounding communities.
“Fort Monmouth is a driving force in our regional economy. Its closure would not just impact its 5,000 employees, but would also adversely affect over 23,000 people who have jobs tied into the Fort, and the hundreds of area businesses that depend on the commerce generated by Fort employees for their livelihood.
“The BRAC Commission seems to make their closure recommendations based on a narrow set of criteria that doesn’t take into account the quality of work coming out of a facility. Fort Monmouth has a proven track record of excellence in battlefield communications and troop safety, and has most recently developed technology to detect and disarm roadside bombs in Iraq. The Fort has shown its worth time and time again and is an invaluable asset to the United States Armed Forces.
“Fort Monmouth has been targetted for closure twice before, and in both instances it has made a solid case to remain open. Today’s announcement is discouraging, but is only the start of a long appeals process, and I am hopeful that the leadership in the Department of Defense comes to their senses and allows Fort Monmouth to continue its mission and support our troops.”