President Barack Obama signed an official memo last week, giving his stamp of approval on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ initiative to shutter the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.
“I hereby accept the recommendations of the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and approve the disestablishment of United States Joint Forces Command, effective on a date to be determined by the secretary of defense,” the memo reads.
The plans to shutter JFCOM, which is responsible for setting the military’s joint training, doctrine and operations, were part of Gates’ far-reaching proposal to free up $100 billion in efficiencies by cutting DoD overhead costs.
The military no longer requires a “separate four-star combatant command, which, in the case of [Joint Forces Command] entails about 2,800 military and civilian positions and roughly 3,000 contractors of all kinds at an annual cost of at least $240 million to operate,” Gates previously said.
But don’t expect to see the closed sign on the door just yet. Instead, JFCOM will be downsized and responsibilities shifted to other organizations.
In a Pentagon briefing last week, expounding on a new wave of defense cost-savings, Gates said, even amid closing JFCOM, a number of the command’s missions would be retained.
“We are still refining the details, but expect that roughly 50 percent of the capabilities under JFCOM will be kept and assigned to other organizations,” he said, according to a report on Federal News Radio.