President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the country’s only triservice (U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force) defense base this afternoon. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is home to 38,000 active-duty, reserve, and guard service, as well as civilians and family. It contributes at least $4.2 billion to the state’s gross domestic product, according to a 2013 report by the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
The White House is billing the trip as an opportunity for the president to thank members of the base for their service, but at least one local politician sees it as a possible sign that the base will not be affected by the next round of closures. “I hope the President’s visit is a sign that he will join me in doing whatever is needed to preserve the Joint Base and enhance its operations as our military continues to evolve,” said Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) in a statement.