In The Spotlight
Hopatcong local Candice Smith has written her second book called The Man Behind the Beard that focuses on our local legend Pat Ficcio from Mount Arlington, who has played Santa Claus across New Jersey at nursing homes, children's hospital wards, retirement homes, churches, and schools for over 70 years.
On Monday afternoon it was announced the Major Expansion of Picatinny Arsenal’s Vital National Security Mission, as they will build a new Munitions Disassembly Complex on the base.
In addition to its critical national security mission, Picatinny Arsenal is Morris County’s largest employer and an enormous economic engine for the region, generating over 13,000 direct and indirect jobs, and nearly $1 billion in annual economic activity.
Contract awarded for $41M Munitions Disassembly Complex
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (N.J.-11), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, today joined leaders from Picatinny Arsenal, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Picatinny Enhancement Coalition (PEC) to announce the contract award for the construction of a new, $41 million state-of-the-art Munitions Disassembly Complex, representing a major investment in and expansion of Picatinny’s vital national security mission.
The construction of a new Munitions Disassembly Complex includes a munitions disassembly facility, robotics experimentation/field office, render-safe area, day storage magazine and long-term storage magazines with a storage shed.
The History of Picatinny Arsenal:
First established in 1880 as the Dover Powder Depot, Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County is a unique, comprehensive armament facility spanning over 6,000 acres and responsible for developing virtually all of the Army’s lethal weapons systems.
New Munitions Disassembly Complex:
The state-of-the-art Munitions Disassembly Complex modernizes Picatinny’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology (EODT) Directorate, which is responsible for developing, validating and verifying munitions disassembly procedures for all U.S. conventional munitions as well as first-seen foreign munitions—the only U.S. Army organization authorized to perform this complex function. The expanded capabilities of the new facility will further accelerate development of new operating concepts involving Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robots, armed robots and robot-based munitions delivery systems, and develop new tools and applications to advance the role of robots in EOD missions.
“Picatinny is the DoD’s Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition and specializes in delivering lethality to the force, but it also has another very important mission, and that is Explosives Ordnance Disposal,” said PEC President Bill Morelli. “This new facility will help grow Picatinny’s expertise and capability in EOD and improve the safety and security of our men and women in uniform as they go about their mission of protecting this great nation.”
The new facility serves as recognition for the importance of Picatinny Arsenal’s armaments and ammunition mission, which for nearly 20 years has played the lead role as lifecycle manager of all conventional munitions for the U.S. Armed Forces, achieving record levels of readiness for our nation’s Warfighters. The federal investment is also a testament to the exceptional, highly-trained and experienced women and men working on the base.
Sen. Menendez’s Remarks
“The construction of this Munitions Disassembly Complex will secure Picatinny Arsenal’s future as America’s leader in the advancement of armaments technology and munitions innovation,” said Sen. Menendez. “Simply put, Picatinny is the brain power behind our nation’s firepower. Here, some of the brightest minds in armament technology, munitions, and chemical and mechanical engineering come together to keep our military on the cutting edge of lethality and precision. I want to thank everyone here today for working together to get the job done. We came together as a team, and we put New Jersey first—because Picatinny Arsenal always puts America first.”
“Picatinny Arsenal has always played a critical role in the defense of our country,” Rep. Sherrill said. “From the Revolutionary War to today’s modernization plans, the work performed at Picatinny strengthens our armed forces and supports their missions throughout the world. The Munitions Disassembly Complex is essential to our military’s mission and to keeping our soldiers safer in the field. This needed facility will enable our military to safely and effectively analyze and dispose of explosives found on the battlefield. The entire New Jersey delegation recognizes Picatinny’s central importance, and we will continue to fight for the men and women who work there as we work to complete the National Defense Authorization Act.”
“Picatinny’s specialized facilities and its highly talented and dedicated workforce together are what make it unique and so critical to our nation,” said Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Abramson, commanding general of Picatinny Arsenal.
Sen. Menendez, Rep. Sherrill and the state’s entire Congressional delegation fought to secure the critical funding and worked with Gov. Phil Murphy and DEP to expedite the necessary reviews that had to be completed prior to the contract award.
"The Army Corps, with the assistance of timely permit reviews by New Jersey DEP and Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board were able to award the contract for this important project," said Col. Thomas Asbery, the Army Corps' New York District commander. "The New York District is proud to be part of Picatinny’s great role in the Army’s modernization program through its scientific research and technology development. I would like to thank all of our partners for their support and look forward to working with them in the future."
Congress approved the $41 million in funding for the Munitions Disassembly Complex in Sept. 2018, but that money was put in jeopardy when President Trump announced in March plans to divert appropriated military spending to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and specifically including Picatinny on its list of endangered projects. Sen. Menendez co-led a bipartisan delegation letter in opposition with Congressman Donald Norcross (N.J.-01), the state’s highest-ranked member on the House Armed Services Committee. The letter was also cosigned by Rep. Sherrill and Sen. Cory Booker.
“Since its inception, Picatinny Arsenal has served as a leader in military research and munitions manufacturing,” Sen. Booker said. “Today’s announcement is a dual investment in both Picatinny’s mission-critical research and the safety and security of our service members abroad. Picatinny Arsenal’s contributions to our state, our nation, and our troops are without equal, and I’m grateful to its leaders and my colleagues in the House and Senate for helping secure these key resources.”
“This new Munitions Disassembly Complex will enhance our military’s technological capabilities and provide research and innovation opportunities for our highly-skilled workforce at Picatinny,” said Rep. Norcross, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. “As the only comprehensive armament facility of its kind in the United States, Picatinny Arsenal plays a unique and indispensable role in our national defense. I visited the arsenal twice this year along with Congresswomen Sherrill and fought to secure this critical funding, and I thank Senator Menendez and the New Jersey delegation for their commitment to our servicemembers and the incredible workforce at our state’s military installations.”
During the Lake Loop 2019, Lake Hopatcong Foundation President Jessica K. Murphy introduced the topic of “What are the four Mayors doing on to ensure Lake Hopatcong doesn’t have another summer like 2019."
Local Hopatcong Resident, Amanda Roberts who is a self-described "Halloween fanatic" was declared the winner of the 30-Hour Coffin Challenge at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.
The new Hopatcong Flea Market is going all out this weekend with a Truck or Treat between the hours of 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM on Saturday October 19, 2019. Besides all of the vendors with new and used items, Queen of the Hill Farms will be attendance with the following fall selections.
Hopatcong students will be participating in lessons on being Peacemakers using the High-Five Strategies.
Art DiBenedetto, Hopatcong Superintendent of Schools, Announces - On Thursday, October 17th, third graders in Mrs. Tumminelli’s class performed math surgery.
Morris County today is celebrating 25 years of the voter-approved Morris County Open Space Trust Fund, which since the first grant was awarded in 1994 has resulted in the preservation of thousands of acres of open spaces across the entire county, helping to maintain the county’s high quality of life.
This weekend the Jefferson Township Recreation Department holds two great family fun events with the Camp Jefferson’s Fall Festival that transitions into the 31st annual Halloween Haunted House.
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Jefferson Township Police Chief Sean Conrad announce and confirm an ongoing investigation into an incident that occurred on Seneca Trail in Jefferson Township.
Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo, Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi and Roxbury Public Library Director Radwa Ali will moderate three sessions at the library this month designed to showcase local organizations that help others.\
ROXBURY, NJ (October 18, 2019) – Members of the Roxbury High School Roxbotix Robotics Team participated in the Roxbury Adopt-A-Road program as part of the NJ Clean Communities initiative.
(19/P083) TRENTON – A business that recycles almost 80 percent of its waste, a university with a comprehensive waste reduction and recycling program, and a municipal recycling coordinator whose dedication has increased recycling in multi-family housing developments, are among those honored today as New Jersey’s 2019 recycling leaders.
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Morris Township Police Chief Mark DiCarlo announce the arrest of Thomas H. Meier, age 35, of Mount Arlington, N.J.
The local Jersey Cares Coat Drive will be held from November 1, 2019 through December 11, 2019. Mount Arlington Borough Hall will once again be the only drop off location for new or gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves.
The Borough of Mount Arlington will hold the annual fall heath fair on October 25, 2019 at the Municipal Building. RSVP is required for most services.
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation was honored with a Clean Water Stewardship Award at the Morris County MUA 2019 Environmental Excellence Awards on October 11, 2019, at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum.
On Monday, October 28, 2019, the Morris County Heritage Commission will dedicate a historic marker at the Lake Hopatcong Station.
The Lake Hopatcong Commission held their monthly meeting at the Lake Hopatcong Foundation on October 15, 2019. The following article provides the highlights of the meeting and video coverage of the full meeting.
The state Division of Fish and Wildlife is kicking off the start of fall trout season this week by stocking many of New Jersey’s rivers, lakes, streams and ponds with thousands of large rainbow trout.
The Knee Deep Club today announced the results of the Lake Hopatcong Fall Walleye Contest that took place on October 6 & 7, 2019.
Over this last weekend of September 21 & 22, 2019 the Knee Deep Club of Lake Hopatcong held its Annual Fall Hybrid Striped Bass Contest on Lake Hopatcong.