Joint Forces commander details plans for closure
Contractor jobs, as well as military and civilian government roles, will be cut as a new, leaner organization focuses on training and education, Army Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of Joint Forces Command, says.
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.