South Jersey Delegation Renews Base Security Effort
Congressmen Jim Saxton (NJ-03), Rob Andrews (NJ-01), Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) today announced legislation to enhance base security in the wake of the Fort Dix terrorist plot.
To address the problem, the four Members will be introducing legislation much of which they originally proposed in 2003 requiring federal background checks for civilians who want access to the base. These checks will determine whether a civilian has a criminal record at the federal level, in hopes of identifying any past actions that are indicative of whether the civilian poses a security threat to the installation.
In addition to a federal background check, coordination with the Department of Homeland Security will need to occur to ensure a civilian seeking access to a military base is a U.S. citizen or in the U.S. legally.Congressman LoBiondo:
"It is common-sense that we should know who is on our military bases and why they are there. Background checks on all contractors and vendors will help secure these sensitive facilities and ensure an additional layer of security for our servicemen and women who are stationed at our bases," said LoBiondo, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "Our legislation is straight-forward, and will give the security personnel at U.S. military facilities an additional resource to do their jobs successfully."Congressman Andrews:
"The disruption of the planned terrorist attack against personnel at Fort Dix is a credit to outstanding work by the U.S. Attorney, FBI and concerned citizens but it emphasizes the need for a uniform security standard written into law to ensure that our nation's military installations are properly protected," said Rep. Rob Andrews, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "That is why we have renewed our effort from 2003 to pass legislation that would require rigorous screening of individuals who have access to military bases in order to protect the men and women who work at and visit Fort Dix and other bases against these types of terrorist plots." Congressman Smith:
"There is no way to hermetically seal a base, but we have been working legislatively to ensure vendors, contract workers and other individuals who have access to a base are thoroughly vetted--and the Department of Defense needs to follow our lead to mitigate the threat, and therefore the damage, of a terrorist attack at our nation's military facilities," said Smith.Congressman Saxton:
"The security personnel at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst do everything they can to keep our bases safe," said Saxton, Ranking Member of the Air Land Forces Subcommittee that oversees the Army and Air Force, and founder of the first House Terrorism Subcommittee in 2002. "Our goal with this legislation is to provide them with even more resources to ensure they can continue to protect our bases against the threat of terrorism posed by radical jihadists.