Inside DOD

By Amber Corrin

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Joint Forces commander details plans for closure

Army Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Joint Forces Command, updated reporters on Feb. 9 on plans for disestablishing the four-star combatant command as part of broader Defense Department efficiency efforts.

Odierno stressed that the placement of personnel would be highest priority, with streamlined joint functions transferred within DOD – mostly to the Joint Staff, he said. Contracting positions are expected to face major cuts.

The commander also outlined what the remaining organization would look like and focus on after JFCOM’s closure, including an increased concentration on training.

“The changes are significant,” he added. “We will retain the most critical functions and expertise for the joint warfighter in an organization flattened for agility and efficiency. But I do want to stress that this will be a different organization.”

That organization will be roughly half the size of the current command’s 4,700 employees, but will remain in the Norfolk-Suffolk, Va., area, and will be led by a two-star general officer yet to be named.

Odierno noted that the bulk of personnel reductions will affect contractors, but some military and government civilian jobs would also be cut.

The disestablishment will be complete by August 2011, with personnel transfers completed by March 2012, Odierno said.

The command’s closure will yield an organization that will shift focus to collaboration with other DOD and multi-national partners, as well as an emphasis on next-generation training and education.

“This is a reorganization centered on joint training, joint integration, and joint concept and doctrine development,” Odierno said. “This reorganization will allow us to better interact and synchronize adaptive joint training, doctrine and concept development supported by modeling, simulation and experimentation.”

Odierno said that the increased focus on training and education is a driving force that would sustain joint forces as modern warfare continues to evolve.

“This will be underpinned by modeling and simulation, experimentation and lessons learned, and we’ll continue to work to better understand the environment our joint forces are operating in,” he said.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:14 PM


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Reader comments

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 anonymous Norfolk, VA

First JFCOM has always been "centered on joint training, joint integration, and joint concept and doctrine development.” So Gen. O.'s statement on that front is bogus. Further the idea of "collaboration with other DOD and multi-national partners" to achieve success is equally bogus. JFCOM as a 4-Star Command couldn't be blown-off by the Four Services when JFCOM advocated for the joint POV. Does anyone believe the new 2-Star Command will be received with equal deference? "Collaboration" is code-word for "pretty please" vice "you will do joint" when a 4-Star command demanded it. SecDef Gates saw a command that was heavy with contractors and thought he could save money. First the contractors won't have been at JFCOM if DoD hadn't let a contract - bottom line. Second many of the civilian workers and military personnel do not have the skill sets to do modeling and simulation or a host of other specialty skills being performed at JFCOM. Is the SecDef now going to spend waste taxpayer monies getting them those skill sets? Additionally the other 4-Star Combatant Commands have lost their advocate and supporter for anything joint they wanted to achieve in their theater of operations. JFCOM's role as joint advocate for all combatant commands allowed the geographic commands the freedom to concentrate on warfighting. Once the mistake of this action becomes apparent in a few years, a "JFCOM by any other name" will appear.

Mon, Feb 14, 2011

Why do we still have 4 seperate military services in DoD, plus several small quasi-military ones scattered elsewhere? If the command-and-control (not to mention the expensive back-office and support structures) was combined, the whole notion of 'Joint Forces' would be irrelevant, and we would save a ton of money. Let them keep their distinct uniforms if they want, but it is all the same store, and they need to start acting like it.

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