Two steps that could better position Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in a future BRAC round include conducting a study of the installation’s airspace and building a highway overpass to improve access between two sections of the base, according to a report prepared for the state of New Jersey.
The 168-page report from D.C.-based Cassidy & Associates was part of the government relations firm’s contract with the state to provide recommendations to preserve and enhance its military installations.
The airspace study would aim to demonstrate the joint base had a sufficient amount of unencroached airspace to accommodate the KC-46A, the Air Force’s next-generation refueling tanker, reported the Burlington County Times. The installation is one of 11 the Air Force is considering as a candidate to host the tankers.
The report recommended the state “make the strongest possible substantive case in support of the merits of the installation.”
Constructing either an overpass or underpass across Route 539 linking the Dix ranges and road network with the western side of the Lakehurst training area would improve traffic safety by keeping large military vehicles off Route 539 and also would expand the training space on the base, the report said.
It recommended state and county officials work with base officials to identify a strategy to finance the project.
The report overall recommended the use of local funds to upgrade the infrastructure at installations, a strategy a handful of states already have adopted. States also should cultivate shared services partnerships between installations and neighboring communities to enhance mission value and increase efficiency at installations.
“In an era of constrained budgets, the use of partnerships to reduce costs and expand capabilities is essential,” the report stated.