PALLONE & HOLT REQUEST PENTAGON PICK UP P.C.S. COSTS FOR DISPLACED FORT MONMOUTH WORKERS
January 4, 2006
---Ask Pentagon To Disclose Closure and Relocation Timelines---
Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) made a formal request to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking that the Pentagon pay for permanent change of station (PCS) costs for workers at Fort Monmouth who find jobs at other federal agencies.
The two New Jersey lawmakers also asked Secretary Rumsfeld to provide Fort Monmouth employees information regarding closure and relocation plans. The requests were made in a letter sent by both Pallone and Holt to the defense secretary at the Pentagon yesterday.
Pallone and Holt wrote that this is a difficult time for many of Fort Monmouth's workers, who currently have to make life-changing decisions about whether their family is going to move, whether to find new employment, and a myriad of other questions. The two lawmakers said that without an accurate relocation timeline or guaranteed PCS costs it will be difficult for families to plan for their futures.
"For two months, Fort Monmouth workers have been kept in the dark with regard to the timeline and the costs of relocation," Pallone and Holt wrote in their letter to Secretary Rumsfeld. "Currently, most Fort Monmouth workers who have other job opportunities within the federal government are not being afforded permanent change of station costs. These costs would make relocation for many workers much less stressful.
"We therefore request that the Pentagon guarantee PCS costs for workers displaced by BRAC and expedite the public disclosure of the relocation timeline to give the workers at Fort Monmouth a chance to adjust their plans accordingly," the two lawmakers continued. "We hope that the Pentagon will do all it can to ensure that the relocation of Fort Monmouth will go as smoothly as possible for the soldiers who rely on the Fort and the employees who work there."
On September 8, 2005 the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended that Fort Monmouth be closed and its functions relocated once the Defense Department had reported "to the Congressional Committees of Jurisdiction that movement of organization, functions, or activities from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground will be accomplished without disruption of their support to the Global War on Terror or other critical contingency operations and that safeguards exist to ensure that necessary redundant capabilities are put into place to mitigate potential degradation of such support, and to ensure maximum retention of critical workforce." This recommendation was passed into law on November 9, 2005.