Holt & Pallone Ask Rumsfeld to Change BRAC Selection Criteria to Recognize Value of Military Research and Development

Feb 4, 2004

Washington, DC Representatives Rush Holt, Frank Pallone, and a bipartisan group of 16 other members of Congress have sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld expressing their concern that the draft Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) selection criteria for 2005 fail to address "either future military technology capabilities or the unpredictability of 21st century military challenges we may have yet to confront." Holt and Pallone asked the Secretary to add a new criterion recognizing "the value and capabilities of military research and development laboratories and testing centers, as well as their specialized professional talent and technical infrastructure."

"The current BRAC criteria are out of touch with the technological needs of a 21st century military that must adapt quickly and effectively to unpredictable demands," said Rep. Rush Holt. "Ft. Monmouth and other bases across this country that add research brains to our military brawn should not be undervalued by the BRAC process. The private sector alone cannot provide the research and development capabilities our military needs."

"It would be shortsighted, perhaps dangerous, for the Defense Department to overlook the impressive technological ingenuity available at Fort Monmouth and other research and development facilities around the nation," Pallone said. "This invaluable contribution has been critical in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and should not be ignored during the BRAC process."

The Secretary of Defense is required to publish the final selection criteria no later than February 16, 2004. The BRAC process will determine in 2005 whether Ft. Monmouth and other military installations across the country or overseas should remain open or be altered.

Rep. Holt and Rep. Pallone both sit on the "Save Our Fort" Committee, which meets regularly to strategize about how to best make the case to the Department of Defense that Ft. Monmouth is invaluable to the military.