Legislators Say Fort’s Closure is Great Loss to the Community
Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (all R-12) said that the closure of Fort Monmouth represents a great loss to the community, but also a great opportunity for new economic growth. The base will be officially closed in a formal retreat ceremony this afternoon.
“Fort Monmouth served our nation for nearly a century developing innovative new technologies that people around the world depend on today,” said Beck. “The great concentration of knowledge and technical ability that surrounded Fort Monmouth helped New Jersey become an economic powerhouse. We are certainly saddened that the Fort is closing, but we are also determined to ensure that redevelopment efforts fill the void to keep Monmouth County a leader in technological innovation.”
Fort Monmouth, which opened in 1917, was a global leader in the development of communications technologies, including FM radio and radar. During its decades of operation, the base served as a foundation for the local economy and local communities.
“The jobs of more than 20,000 people were directly or indirectly tied to Fort Monmouth,” said O’Scanlon. “An entire community of businesses supported the operation of the base, and local residents provided much of the talent and brainpower that fueled cutting edge research and development within the Fort’s walls. While a void has been created by the closing of Fort Monmouth, any successors will have a first-rate infrastructure, both physical and intellectual, ready to assume.”
“It certainly is sad to watch a pillar of the community be pulled out from under us,” added Casagrande. “In change, however, there is also opportunity. Looking to the past, we praise the many people who served at Fort Monmouth for their invaluable contributions to our nation. Looking to the future, we must seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to transform this central element of our community into something greater.”