Commission votes to close Fort Monmouth

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted today to shut down the Army base in Fort Monmouth, N.J.' home to many of the Army's command and control and research and development programs.

Fort Monmouth's Communications Electronics Life Cycle Management Command; headquarters and elements of Program Executive Offices for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical and PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensor; and the Joint Network Management System Program Office are among the IT offices slated to relocate to the Aberdeen Proving Ground or to Fort Meade, both in Maryland.

During a press conference today, Col. Ricki L. Sullivan, Fort Monmouth's garrison commander, acknowledged it was a disheartening day for employees.

But Sullivan stressed that the decision by the nine-member commission did not reflect a lack of appreciation for the work performed by personnel, but was based on transforming the Defense Department 'into a more effective organization and to best serve our national defense, our warfighters and our taxpayers.'

'For now, Fort Monmouth remains open. We continue to support the warfighter, and we continue to innovate and develop technologies to respond to warfighter needs,' Sullivan added.

Although seven commission members voted in favor of closing Fort Monmouth, they stipulated that the closing should not affect the programs that are supporting warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The next step is for President Bush to approve or reject the commission's vote by Sept. 23. If accepted, Congress has 45 legislative days to reject the proposals or they become binding, according to the BRAC Web site.

This week, the commission has been reviewing and voting on a plan proposed by Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to close 33 major bases nationwide, while realigning 29 others. Under the BRAC, DOD expects to save $48.8 billion over 20 years by closing or consolidating more than 29,000 civilian and military positions.

In addition to Fort Monmouth, the commission also voted today to close Army bases in Virginia, Georgia and Michigan, as well as hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard installations across the country. The Army's Training and Doctrine Command headquartered in Fort Monroe, Va., was one of the bases voted to be closed.

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