McDonnell Offers JFCom Update
Governor McDonnell and a bipartisan group of representatives from Virginia’s congressional delegation met with senior Pentagon officials yesterday to discuss Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ proposal to close the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk. Craig Carper reports.
After seven weeks of trying to secure a meeting, yesterday McDonnell and a bipartisan group from Virginia’s congressional delegation shared their concerns with senior Pentagon officials, who promised a meeting with the Secretary in the near future.
Governor Bob McDonnell.
McDonnell: It was a frank and direct discussion about our strong opposition to the secretary’s decision. The abhorrent lack of transparency and information provided to the Congress and the state officials and a lack of willingness to provide any background, any documents, any financial analysis of the case that was made to the Secretary.
The Governor also requested public hearings on the closure in Norfolk and Fairfax, but was not offered a firm commitment.
Later the Senate Armed Services Committee questioned the Defense Department representatives on their proposed shifting of resources for the 2012 budget which would include the closure of the Joint Forces Command or JFCom.
Some committee members were in favor of the Pentagon recommendations.
Senator John McCain.
McCain: We’ve got to find ways to operate government more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers. One proposal the Secretary has recommended is the elimination of Joint Forces Command. I strongly support that proposal.
Congressional approval is not required for the closing to proceed. The ultimate decision will be made by President Obama. JFCom employs 5,000 people and utilizes thousands more through defense contractors in the Commonwealth.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Richmond