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Odierno Talks Details of JFCOM’s Deep Contractor Cuts

JFCOM Commander Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Photo: jfcom.mil

The commander of the United States Joint Forces Command yesterday provided specifics about cuts to the Norfolk, Va.-based command, including deep slashes to the contractor workforce based there.

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who took over JFCOM in October, said the command would cut 2,300 positions from its 4,700-member personnel. Most of the positions cut — about 2,000 — will be contractor positions, according to a Federal News Radio report.

The remaining positions will likely be phased into a soon-to-be-created downsized version of JFCOM or to other posts, he said.

The downsized JFCOM replacement will be run by a two-star general, he added. All told, with the personnel cuts and changes to organizational hierarchy, DoD will save about $400 million.

“I think with a good two-star organization working directly for the Joint Staff, frankly, you eliminate some of the redundancy that’s there and I think it might become more efficient in the long run,” Odierno said.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates first announced plans to close the command in August as part of the department’s far-reaching efficiency initiatives. While his original plans have been tweaked somewhat, buffeted by shifting political winds and ramped-up budget battling, JFCOM’s fate has pretty much been sealed since then, notwithstanding a few fiery congressional hearings.

Odierno insisted the changes amounted to a major transition for the command, not just a little trimming here and there.

“Going forward, we are not simply trimming down each staff element,” he said, according to an AP report. “We are making a major departure from past organization design, procedure and mindset to more effectively execute the core functions and sustain the jointness we’ve worked so hard to achieve in the past.”

An even more detailed plan on how and which positions will be restructured is coming within the next 60 days, Odierno said.

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