CAPITOL HILL: The recent death of Bill Young, longtime power on the House Appropriations Committee, opened the door to a new chairman of the defense subcommittee. Today New Jersey’s Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen stepped through that door.
Frelinghuysen has served on the defense subcommittee since 1999. He was its vice-chairman. The most likely winner from the veteran lawmaker’s ascension is the Picatinny Arsenal, which sits square in his district and includes almost 5,000 jobs — most of them civilian. The arsenal is home to much of the US Army’s research and development.
Here’s a quick list of some of the weapons the arsenal has produced: technologies to defeat IEDs; small, medium and large caliber conventional ammunition; precision-guided munitions; mortars; fire control systems; howitzers; and insensitive munitions.
The defense companies with operations in New Jersey include Lockheed Martin and Boeing (which has three locations there: Berkeley Heights, Millville, and Shrewsbury). NAVAIR’s Lakehurst facility, where aircraft carrier landing and takeoff technologies (such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, EMALS) are tested and developed, is also in New Jersey. While a facility’s presence in the state of a subcommittee chairman is not a guarantee of support, state delegations do tend to work together, and the new HAC-D chairman is likely to want to demonstrate to his fellows that he can deliver when needed.