On January 6, 2011, President Obama approved the Secretary of Defense’s recommendation to disestablish the United States Joint Force Command (JFCOM). By the end of August 2011, JFCOM will be disestablished as a four-star combatant command. JFCOM, located in Suffolk and Norfolk, currently employs approximately 5,800 civilian and military workers and private contractors, with approximately 3,900 from the Hampton Roads area. About 80% of contractors will be dismissed, but about half of the 3,900 jobs will be preserved. The transition of all JFCOM personnel movements will be completed by March 2012.
The disestablishment and transitional goals for JFCOM are to: ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the remaining critical functions, maintain the strong collaboration and interaction with multinational partners, build on JFCOM’s legacy of joint advocacy in the Hampton Roads area, and provide all possible support and leverage all available resources to support the people who will be displaced.
Once this disestablishment is complete, the Department of Defense anticipates a savings of more than $400 million annually. Of the $400 million, 50% of the JFCOM personnel and budget will remain in the Hampton Roads area along with core missions, such as joint training, joint force provider, joint concept and doctrine development and joint integration. This reorganization will better synchronize adaptive joint training, and create a concept development policy supported by modeling, simulation and experimentation.
The efforts that JFCOM was pursuing in modelling and simulation will be retained as well as Live Virtual and Constructive training. Also announced by state officials on February 9, is that Virginia will receive a $470,000 grant from the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment to establish a Workforce Transition Center in Suffolk’s Harbour View area that will help workers access resources and assistance available from local, state and federal governments and nonprofit organization.
“This is a sad day for Hampton Roads and for our national defense,” Rep. Randy Forbes said. “While Virginians will see the economic impact immediately, the strategic harm caused by the abandonment of military jointness will be a weakening agent to our military capabilities for decades.”