Defense Plans to Cut Norfolk-Based Military Command
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced yesterday 100 billion dollars in cuts to the defense budget, including a major command center in Norfolk. But Charles Fishburne reports it's not a done deal, and Virginia’s Congressional delegation is allied to fight it.
Secretary Gates says he wants to eliminate Norfolk’s Joint Forces Command, which he admits has helped to coordinate America’s military.
Gates: However, they do not necessarily require a separate four-star combatant command, which in the case of JIF-com entails about 2800 military and civilian positions, and roughly 3000 contractors of all kinds.
That’s six thousand jobs in Hampton Roads, more than half contractors, whose numbers have swelled since the 9/11 attacks.
Gates: The culture of "endless money" that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of savings and restraint.
The proposed cutback is part of a broader, 100-billion dollar military budget reduction, but he says he may be able to add a couple of billion back to Norfolk’s shipbuilding program, and he urged Virginia lawmakers to support him; but late yesterday, Governor McDonnell and a united Congressional delegation made it clear they would fight it.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News