Senator JOSEPH M. KYRILLOS, JR.
District 13 (Middlesex and Monmouth)
Senator ELLEN KARCHER
District 12 (Mercer and Monmouth)
Memorializes Congress and President to reverse decision to close Fort Monmouth.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Senate Resolution memorializing the Congress and President of the United States to reverse the decision to close the United States Army installation at Fort Monmouth.
Whereas, Fort Monmouth, originally established in 1917 under the name Camp Little Silver and later known as Camp Vail, is a 1,100-acre United States Army base located in Eatontown, Tinton Falls, and Oceanport in Monmouth County, and is named in honor of the Revolutionary War soldiers who fought in the Battle of Monmouth; and
Whereas, Fort Monmouth is a research and development installation that employs more than 5,000 people, generates $3.3 billion in economic activity, and supports more than 22,000 jobs statewide; and
Whereas, After Fort Monmouth was recommended for closure by the Department of Defense in July 2005, the federal Base Realignment and Closure (“BRAC”) Commission voted to close the base in August of the same year, and the decision of the BRAC Commission was upheld by President George W. Bush and the United States Congress; and
Whereas, An appeal by United States Representatives from New Jersey to remove Fort Monmouth from the list of bases to be closed was rejected, and most Army facilities and personnel located at the base are scheduled to be moved to facilities in Maryland and Ohio by 2011; and
Whereas, A recent investigation by the Asbury Park Press has revealed that the Technical Joint Cross Service Group, an analytical group created by the Department of Defense to help develop recommendations for the 2005 base closures, withheld important data from its final report sent to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and analyzed by the BRAC Commission, which data showed that the closure of Fort Monmouth would contribute to a significant shortfall of scientists and engineers in U.S. military research laboratories over the next two decades and could hamper the country’s ability to develop the technology to fight future wars; and
Whereas, According to a review of U.S. Army documents, the price of moving the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School from Fort Monmouth to West Point, New York, as part of the base’s closure, has skyrocketed from an initial estimate of $29 million to nearly $200 million, far more than the cost approved by the BRAC Commission in 2005; and
Whereas, The estimated total price of closing Fort Monmouth and moving its operations elsewhere has nearly doubled since the BRAC Commission initially voted to close the fort, ballooning from $780 million to about $1.5 billion in the two years since the decision to close the base was finalized, which alarming escalation is primarily driven by the increased cost of moving the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School and an increase in the price of military construction in Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland; and
Whereas, The Department of Defense now estimates that the total cost of all of the 2005 BRAC decisions, which were made with the intention of saving money, will be approximately $30.7 billion compared to the $22.3 billion originally approved by the commission; and
Whereas, Former members of the BRAC Commission assert that the commission’s members might not have voted to close Fort Monmouth had they had access to the recently surfaced information concerning the future shortfall of scientists and engineers and known that the actual costs of closing and moving the base’s facilities and operations would be so high; and
Whereas, In light of the recent criticisms and revelations surrounding the process that was used to determine which bases would be forced to close under the 2005 round of closures, it is fitting and proper that this House urge the United States Congress and the President of the United States to reverse the decision to close Fort Monmouth, as the only way to change any decision of the BRAC Commission is through an act of Congress; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:
1. This House respectfully memorializes the Congress of the United States and the President of the United States to reverse the decision to close the Fort Monmouth United States Army installation.
2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and attested by the Secretary thereof, shall be transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, each member of the New Jersey congressional delegation, and each member of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (“BRAC”) Commission.
This Senate Resolution urges the United States Congress and the President of the United States to reverse the decision to close Fort Monmouth. Recent reports have revealed that certain important pieces of information were withheld from the Base Realignment and Closure (“BRAC”) Commission prior to its decision to close the base. Furthermore, the estimated cost of moving Fort Monmouth’s facilities and operations to other locations in the country have skyrocketed from $780 million to approximately $1.5 billion. Had the BRAC Commission had access to all relevant information prior to making its decision and known that the cost of closing and moving the base would be so high, it is possible that the members of the commission would not have voted to close Fort Monmouth.