Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) got a nod on his legislation to enhance safety measures at Warren Grove Gunnery Range, where an Air National Guard F-16 inadvertently kicked off a costly fire last spring, among other incidents. It’s included in the 2008 defense policy bill, which still must pass the Senate before it goes to the President. Meanwhile, Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) reportedly believes New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine is slow-rolling the reopening of the range. The Press of Atlantic City reports that LoBiondo has sent the governor a letter, laying blame on Corzine for a delay in validation flights by the ANG’s 177th Fighter Wing. The governor’s office told the newspaper, the claim is false. And, a state Guard official says there’s a lengthy certification process in play.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.