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Norfolk JFOR Command closure concerns

  |   Sept. 29, 2010 at 3:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee head said there are concerns attached to the possible closure of Virginia's Joint Forces Command.

The proposed closure, which must be approved U.S. President Barack Obama, is included in a series of "efficiency initiatives" proposed by U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

USJFCOM is currently one of 10 Unified Combatant Commands of the U.S. armed forces, a functional command that provides specific services to the military.

U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo. and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday at a committee hearing that he was concerned that the U.S. military could lose years of effort at coordination among the various branches if the Norfolk, Va., command is lost in a budget reshuffle.

USJFCOM has four component commands assigned to it, one from each service. These include Air Force Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga.; Marine Forces Command; and U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk; and Air Combat Command based at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

The potential closure of USJFCOM has Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding concerned, as lies within the USJFCOM operational area and is Newport News' largest employer, with more than 15,000 employees.

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