JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST - National lawmakers toured Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Friday, one week after President Barack Obama signed a defense bill saving the base from cuts.

Rep. Tom MacArthur hosted Rep. William “Mac” Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to take a tour of the base and to speak with top officials.

The tour was meant to show Chairman Thornberry how much the base has developed over the past six years. Previously, there were concerns that the base would be scaled back or shut down entirely.

“These closures we’ve had have not saved money,” said Rep. MacArthur. “I just don’t want to see us make that mistake again.”

With President Obama singing the new defense bill, the base will be protected from cuts next year.

Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst is the largest employer in Southern New Jersey.