A new Pentagon budget will bring millions in new spending to the joint military facilities in South Jersey.
The National Defense Authorization Act will provide $46 million in additional federal money for construction projects at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D., N.J.), who voted for the measure, says it give the facility needed improvements to stave off closure. The two Republicans who represent parts of south Jersey, Frank LoBiondo and Jon Runyan, also voted yes.”Basically this is to upgrade the base so it’s there for many many decades to come,” he said.Andrews says the base needs to serve a variety of useful roles.”The top line of the defense budget is shrinking, so it’s a matter of competing for a diminishing pie,” Andrew said. “We think the refueling mission that McGuire has the reserve training mission that Dix has and the very important naval air functio that Lakehurst has are well positioned for that. At this point it’s a battle to hold on to defense jobs and we are very well situated to do that.”The congressman says the base pumps millions of dollars into the local economy.I”The joint base is a major generator of jobs in southern New Jersey. Not just the civilians and people who work there, but the businesses that serve the base, the towns that surround the base. This is a joint effort. Jon Runyan works on this; Frank LoBiando works on this. We all work on it together because we all understand that kind of a major job generator this is for South Jersey.”