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Virginia Begins to Fight for Joint Forces Command

by: Matthew Potter
September 16, 2010

Category: Business Line, Congress, Department of Defense, Events, Federal Budget Process, logistics, Proposal, Services, States, training, Virginia | RSS 2.0

In a recent series of cost saving proposals the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recommended closing the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) located in Norfolk, VA. In Gates’ eyes the JFCOM which develops doctrine and training for the U.S. military across services performed duplicative work and employed too many people, especially contractors.

The closing when it does happen will be a severe blow to Virginia’s economy. The JFCOM employs over 5,000 people with high paying jobs that spend money and buy houses in the local area. Now the Congressional delegation from the Commonwealth has begun to fight back.

In both the Senate and House legislators are planning on introducing legislation that will require the DoD to provide detailed reports and analysis as to how they came to the decision. In the House Representative Glenn Nye will introduce the bill and Senator Jim Webb in the Senate.

Even though the legislation will be looked at by Congress it is no guarantee to stop the closing in the near term. It has first to make it through both Houses and then be signed by the President. It also may be attached to another bill such as the defense appropriations or authorization bills which would make it easier to get passed.

Congress could also not fund the closure which would keep the command open. Either way there would be a fight with the Executive Branch over this decision and really the move could only be postponed so long as the Administration kept trying to include it in their plans. Congress can fight a delaying action but without some major change in policy the JFCOM would end up closing.

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