Feds providing more funds for Fort Monmouth

Monmouth University also receiving funds for database project

Staff Writer

Feds providing more
funds for Fort Monmouth
Staff Writer

FORT MONMOUTH — Congress has appropriated another $1 million to continue a major overhaul of Fort Monmouth’s Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM).

Reps. Frank J. Pallone Jr. and Rush Holt, both D-N.J., announced the money was included as part of a Defense Appropriations conference report which has been given final passage by both the House and Senate.

It follows $4 million in initial funding approved by Congress last year for the project, whose total estimated cost is $17 million.

The measure now goes to President Bush for his signature.

The defense appropriations bill also includes $2 million for Monmouth University’s Center for Rapid Response Database Systems, according to Pallone. He said the money would be used to integrate state-of-the-art database systems through Monmouth University’s School of Science, Technology and Engineering, focusing on the central region of New Jersey.

Pallone and Holt see Congress’ continued investment and support for the overhaul of CECOM as strengthening Fort Monmouth’s position when the Defense Department embarks on the next round of base realignments and closings in 2005. They said it will help assure the base’s future.

Pallone and Holt said Fort Monmouth is charged by the Army to take a lead role in devising and equipping the Army for the 21st Century through its advanced telecommunications and digitized war-fighting efforts. The two lawmakers said the project would go a long way towards strengthening information security and safeguarding information from enemy penetration.

Modernization is needed to sustain CECOM’s mission, according to Pallone and Holt. They said much of the telecommunications infrastructure is World War II vintage and the entire post needs to be upgraded to carry out state-of-the-art missions The modernization project, they said, is expected to converge voice, data, video and multimedia services that are key to the digital battlefield.

"As we continue an international war against terrorism, it is critical to ensure one of the Army’s leading communications centers is fully equipped with the best technology," Pallone said in a prepared statement. "The $5 million Congressman Holt and I have secured over the last two years will ensure Fort Monmouth’s communications infrastructure is modernized with state-of-the-art equipment."

"If Fort Monmouth is to continue to provide the best military support possible, it needs to bring its communications infrastructure into the twenty-first century," Holt added in the joint statement. "Congressman Pallone and I are pleased to have secured $1 million in needed upgrades to its facilities."

Turning to Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Pallone said the school has developed a very strong proposal for its Center for Rapid Response Database Systems.

"I believe this program will dramatically enhance our national security objectives through the development and integration of a database system that will serve as rapid identification of any covert biological warfare," he said.

According to the university’s proposal, the center is expected to enable federal, state and local law enforcement and security agencies to more effectively identify and assemble regional resource personnel and critically needed databases. It will also develop clear, organized deployment/utilization plans for these systems during core events. A goal is to ensure that maximum coordination of information sharing is undertaken at all levels.