Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – Noting the importance of the United States Army Reserve as it relates to the defense of the Country and its citizens, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently welcomed to Ocean County Major General Troy D. Kok, who assumed command of the 99th Regional Support Command headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
"The 99th Regional Support Command provides facilities, programs and services to Army Reserve soldiers, civilians and families in the Northeast Region, to support Army readiness and sustain the all-volunteer force," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, in introducing Major General Kok. "As the Commanding General of the 99th RSC, Major General Kok is responsible for administrative, logistics and facilities support to more than 43,000 Army Reserve Soldiers across a region spanning 13 Northeastern states. He also serves as the Senior Commander of Joint Base – McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst and U.S. Army Base Fort Devens Training Facilities and Training Support."
According to Major General Kok, the Army Reserve provides 20 percent of the total Army's operational force for only five percent of the Army's total budget.
"The Army Reserve's economic impact on the Nation's economy is over $16 billion, supporting more than 141,000 jobs in our local communities," he noted. "The key to the Army Reserve's success is continued support for the budget's dedicated and sustained funding for preserving an operational Army Reserve."
Vicari said the 99th Regional Support Command headquartered at the Joint Base is yet another key component of the base.
"The Joint Base is strategically located and has the best capacity in the nation to move supplies, information and personnel," Vicari said. "The Joint Base is the nation's only tri-service military base and it has the second largest workforce in New Jersey."
Major General Kok said the 99th Regional Support Command stands ready to provide immediate support to civil authorities in the event of natural or man-made disasters in order to save lives and alleviate suffering.
"The Army Reserve provides disaster relief and emergency management at the community level and can respond to requests for emergency assistance from government officials," he said. "A silent partner in this effort is the network of Army Reserve facilities that is woven throughout the nation's local communities and can serve a myriad of functions before, during and after a catastrophic event."
He said the Army Reserve provides almost 70 percent of logistics capabilities, 60 percent of medical capabilities, 40 percent of the public affairs capabilities and 30 percent of the engineer capabilities required by the Army and Joint Force in support of global requirements.
"These trained, ready and uniquely skilled forces possess the same capabilities needed to support disaster relief efforts," he said.
Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who is a staunch supporter of the Joint Base and serves as its liaison, noted the various missions at the base are an integral part of the community.
"The Army Reserve was there to help during Superstorm Sandy, one of the most challenging times in Ocean County," Kelly said. "New Jersey is proud to be home to nearly 4,000 U.S. Army Reserve soldiers and their families."
The Freeholders also noted the County's ongoing efforts to protect the base from any future closure considerations by the Base Realignment Commission.
"In an effort to protect the base from encroachment, the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust has been closely working with the base and the Department of Defense in preserving open space that falls within its five mile buffer," Kelly said. "In recent years, the County and the DOD worked together to preserve more than 10,000 acres surrounding the base."
In being presented a proclamation by the Board of Freeholders recognizing March 15 as 99th Regional Support Command Day in Ocean County, Major General Kok extended his appreciation for the continuing support the county provides.
"Major General Troy D. Kok has continued the legacy of service and support provided by his command to the people of Ocean County," Vicari said. "Ocean County remains committed to honoring all service members. Today we highlight the good work of the 99th Regional Support Command."