Murphy and Norcross: We must continue to invest in N.J.’s military installations
July 22, 2019
New Jersey is home to five military bases, from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to Picatinny Arsenal, from Naval Weapons Station Earle to the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May and the 177th Fighter Wing in Atlantic City. These installations are essential to our national security – and our location has made them critical pieces of our nation’s military preparedness.
But, even beyond their importance to national security, our bases are also critical to our state’s economy. Together, our bases employ 70,000 residents both directly and indirectly. Our communities are made stronger by our military families, and local economies are made stronger by them, too.
It is impossible to overlook the importance of these installations to our preparedness, but we cannot overlook the role our military bases and servicemembers play in contributing to our economy. Our servicemembers are our family and neighbors. They contribute as much to our state as they contribute to our nation. The military is New Jersey’s second largest employer and brings more than $6 billion in economic benefit to our state – $3.8 billion in direct economic impacts and an additional $2.7 billion in indirect economic impacts.
We recently led a day-long series of visits to New Jersey’s military bases for New Jersey’s congressional delegation and state officials. We started the day at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst – a sprawling installation that spans two counties and eight municipalities – where we met with New Jersey Army National Guard leadership under the command of the Adjutant General, Brigadier General Jemal Beale, as well as the base commander, Air Force Colonel Neil R. Richardson. The tour continued with visits to the 177th Fighter Wing in Atlantic City, Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County, and Monmouth County’s Naval Weapons Station Earle.