Sen. Menendez Tours Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Meets with Military Command

Sen. Menendez Tours Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Meets with Military Command

WRIGHTSTOWN, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today toured Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) and stressed the importance of its vital mission to both national security and the economy of Southern New Jersey. He met with Major General Frederick H. "Rick" Martin, Commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, and Colonel James C. Hodges, Commander of the 87th Air Base Wing, and thanked the troops for their dedicated service.

"We know what this base means to New Jersey," Sen. Menendez said. "We know what it means to the defense of the nation, to our response capabilities, and to the economy of our state, and we intend to do all we can to make certain that it will always have that role."

Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited with members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing, a highly-specialized unit tasked with quickly establishing airfields and expanding, sustaining, and coordinating air mobility operations. In addition to wartime service, the 621st CRW provides critical support to disaster relief, including the response to Superstorm Sandy.

"New Jersey is proud of the Joint Base and proud of all who served and have served there in the past," he said. "Whenever I come here I am reminded of the deep and abiding patriotism that is palpable here, and the dedication to duty, honor, and country that I see in those who serve here and in the surrounding community."

The Joint Base has almost 4,000 facilities representing $9.3 billion in infrastructure - and is the second largest employer in the state with over 40,000 military and civilian personnel. According to a Rutgers University study, JBMDL contributes more than $3 billion to the state's economy every year.

"As long as I am representing this state," said Sen. Menendez, "I will do all I can to make absolutely certain that New Jersey continues to be home to the nation's only tri-Service joint base.

Besides the 621st CRW, JBMDL is home to the 87th Airbase Wing, the 305 and 514 Air Mobility Wings, the 108th Wing, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 64, Naval Air Systems Command at Lakehurst, the 174th Infantry Brigade, 72nd Field Artillery Brigade and the Joint Forces Headquarters of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard.

"The bottom line is that the security of this nation cannot do without the men and women who serve at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and quickly respond whenever and wherever duty calls," the Senator concluded.

Sen. Menendez was joined by Burlington County Freeholders Aimee Belgard, and Joanne Schwartz, President of the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce Kristi Howell and members of the Defense Enhancement Coalition.

Senator Bob Menendez meets with service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Senator Bob Menendez meets with Major General Frederick Martin, Commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center.

Senator Bob Menendez meets with Major General Frederick Martin, Commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center.

Senator Menendez with local elected officials, members of the Defense Enhancement Coalition and service members.

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