- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BARNEGAT, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey should appoint a special official tasked with heading off military base closures in the state.

Acting Gov. Kim Guadagno unveiled the recommendation in a report Wednesday at an American Legion post in Barnegat. It comes after Gov. Chris Christie commissioned a task force to study how to pre-empt another base closure like the one in 2011 at Fort Monmouth as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure.

The 24-page report calls for creating an ombudsman whose job would be to focus on “fortifying” the state’s military bases.

Guadagno says the state’s bases are under threat from federal budget cuts.

The military provides nearly $4 billion in direct economic activity in New Jersey and employees more than 45,000 people.

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