In 2010 concerned citizens, business owners, contractors, government entities, and political figures that are centered on Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst (JB MDL), gathered to establish the idea of the Defense Enhancement Coalition (DEC). By 2011 the Defense Enhancement Coalition was incorporated as a 501(c)(6) non-profit.
Much of the catalyst for founding the Defense Enhancement Coalition is based on past Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closures (BRACs). Before the creation of JB MDL, Fort Dix, McGuire AFB and Lakehurst Naval Air Station were placed on BRAC lists separately and respectively in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1995. It was through the efforts and leadership of then Congressman Jim Saxton, Congressman Chris Smith, Colonel Mike Warner, Commander of Fort Dix, Governor Christie Whitman, and The Cassidy Group of Washington, DC that these installations in Burlington and Ocean Counties were saved from BRAC.
Through vigilance in information gathering coupled with experience, DEC advisors are confident that there will be another BRAC. In anticipation of this BRAC the goal of DEC is to enhance, support, persuade, strengthen and make Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst (JB MDL) too large and too vital to appear on a BRAC list again.
As a 501(c)(6) non-profit, DEC can raise funds, use consultants, connect with government entities and seek new missions for JB MDL. DEC members meet monthly to gather information and speak with military and political leaders to secure new missions for JB MDL, while also attempting to keep those who would be impacted by a BRAC informed.
In short, the Defense Enhancement Coalition is compiled of individuals striving to make Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst too vital to BRAC for the well-being of the local communities, Counties and State that depend on the strength and existence of the Joint Base.