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Local Officials Lobbying for Major New Army HQ at Joint Base

Joint Base MDL from the rear of a KC-10 extender during a recent operation. (DoD Photo)

Joint Base MDL from the rear of a KC-10 extender during a recent operation. (DoD Photo)

Toms River officials this week joined a chorus of other local communities that are signaling support for the housing of a new U.S. Army headquarters facility at Joint Base McGure-Dix-Lakehurst.

The army currently hosts three major Corps Headquarters in the United States and is seeking a fourth. The MDL megabase, the only tri-service base in the United States, is an attractive prospect for the army as it is strategically located on the east coast and contains major air mobility assets. The fourth army headquarters, federal officials have said, would house an operational command post of more than 200 soldiers who could be deployed to Europe in the event of a conflict. The administrative component would host another 630 active duty soldiers.

“It is the only base that can support everything from a 9 millimeter to a howitzer,” said Toms River Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral. “And it’s mated with the Air Force portion where you can move troops very quickly on C-17s. I think it’s a perfect location for the fourth Army headquarters.”

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Toms River officials unanimously passed a resolution supporting the basing of the new headquarters at MDL. New Jersey’s congressional delegation has sent a bi-partisan letter the Department of Defense stating the same, and the county has signaled its support as well. Officials have told Shorebeat that locating the facility at MDL would not only expand the role of the base and, in turn, the local economy, but keep the base from being closed or scaled down in the future.

“As our nation’s only tri-service base, the JB-MDL is an active duty base strategically positioned and a highly valued proven power projection platform,” the delegation said in its letter earlier this month to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. “In ten years, it has established itself as America’s premier joint and total warfighting base.”

The Joint Base is one of 31 bases being considered for the new headquarters.

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