McDonnell, Gates Discuss Future Of Joint Forces Command
Yesterday Governor McDonnell and Virginia’s Congressional Delegation met with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to discuss their concerns with his proposal to close the Joint Forces Command or JFCOM in Norfolk. Craig Carper reports.
The Governor and Virginia Congressional delegation have been trying to secure the meeting since Secretary Gates announced his decision on August 9th.
McDonnell said the meeting was very productive.
McDonnell: During the discussion, we received, I think, some positive signs from the Secretary. He is obviously still committed to reduction in the expenditures at JFCOM and a reduction in contractors. He is very well aware after talking to Admiral Mullen and General Odierno that there are some absolutely critical and essential functions of JFCOM that cannot be moved into the Pentagon or elsewhere, functions like modeling and simulation, perhaps the Joint War Fighting Center.
Governor McDonnell said he was optimistic that should the closure go forward, some of the military positions could be shifted to other operations in Virginia.
In addition, last week Senator Jim Webb suggested relocating the U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM to the Norfolk area. The base is now located in Stuttgart, Germany.
Congressional approval is not required for the JFCOM closing to proceed. The ultimate decision will be made by President Obama. JFCOM employs 3,900 people and utilizes thousands more through defense contractors in the Commonwealth.
Craig Carper, WCVE News