In 2009, the separate installations of McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix, and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station were combined to form Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The 42,000-acre Joint Base is located in Ocean and Burlington Counties in the rapidly growing metropolitan corridor between New York City and Philadelphia. The primary aviation mission is an air refueling wing for the C-17 and C-130. Tenant commands include the 87th Air Base Wing, United States Air Force Expeditionary Center, 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, 305th Air Mobility Wing, 514th Air Mobility Wing (Air Force Reserve Command), 108th Air Refueling Wing (New Jersey Air National Guard), and the 621st Contingency Response Wing.
Joint Land Use Study Planning Process
The Air Force nominated McGuire Air Force Base, in concert with Fort Dix and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, as a candidate for a Joint Land Use Study program in 2003. To undertake the study, Ocean and Burlington Counties engaged the three separate installations and 10 municipalities that comprise their counties, as well as the Pinelands Commission—an autonomous environmental conversation district neighboring the installation to its southwest. A JLUS Policy Committee and Technical Advisory Committee, comprised of city, county, military, and other stakeholders, guided the development of the JLUS which was completed in April 2009. The objectives for the collaborative planning effort centered around the development approval process, protection of agricultural and open spaces, real estate disclosure, transportation management, noise and safety issues, economic development, wastewater treatment and growth patterns, and communication among all the stakeholders.
Formation of a JLUS Implementation Committee was key to successful implementation of the JLUS recommendations. Ocean and Burlington Counties are currently implementing critical, high-priority JLUS recommendations. These immediate implementation actions fall into three areas:
- A transportation mobility study was completed in June 2011 to improve access to/from the installation. At-risk intersections and road segments were identified and prioritized for inclusion into a capital improvement program.
- A Communication Coordination Manual was completed April 2011 and will be updated annually. Key military and community contacts are identified in the manual, as well as information on the organizational structures of both the Joint Base and the local communities.
- A regional wastewater capacity study is underway to guide future development to areas not affected by current and future mission training profiles.
Community Website: www.planning.co.ocean.nj.us/jlus.htm