Five New Jersey lawmakers sent a letter today to U.S. Army Materiel Command Commanding General Benjamin S. Griffin saying that the Army's plan to move 49 employees from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) violates the 2005 Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) Report. In the letter, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) write that no employees should be moved to APG until it has been clearly shown that mission disruption will not occur. The text of the letter follows.
July 11, 2007
Benjamin S. Griffin
U.S. Army Materiel Command
9301 Chapek Rd.
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Dear Commanding General Griffin,
We are writing in response to a recent plan to send an advance team of CERDEC scientists and engineers from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). A letter to employees of the CERDEC stated that a team of 49 employees in a number of mission areas would be moved from Fort Monmouth to APG during the 2008 fiscal year. The letter also mentions a bus trip being sponsored to APG for employees interested in the move.
This initial advance team move would only be the first of many advance teams sent to APG, according to the letter. The process would be repeated at the beginning of every calendar year to slowly move resources to APG from Fort Monmouth. We feel that this advance team plan cannot take place without causing a degradation of service to the war fighter in the area of communications electronics.
The plan also violates the language outlined in the 2005 BRAC Report that states "the Secretary of Defense shall submit a report to the Congressional Committees of Jurisdiction that movement of organizations, functions or activities from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground will be accomplished without disruption of their support for the Global War on Terror." A section of this letter to CERDEC employees, however, states that "senior management has strategically assessed these programs as well as current on-going programs and has determined the need for an early presence at APG to mitigate mission disruption."
The Department of Defense has yet to provide any information to Congress regarding how this move could take place without disrupting the Global War on Terror. It is our opinion that no employees should be moved to APG until it has been clearly shown that mission disruption will not occur.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Frank Pallone, Jr.
Frank R. Lautenberg