WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- President Obama has authorized the closure of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.
In a memo, Obama said he accepted the recommendations of Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen and "approve the disestablishment of the United States Joint Forces Command," at a time to be determined by Gates, the Pentagon said Friday in a release.
Obama also directed Gates to notify the Congress of the decision on his behalf.
Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno commands Joint Forces Command, which is responsible for the military's joint training, doctrine and operations.
In August, Gates announced he would recommend the command be eliminated and its functions assigned elsewhere. During a news conference Thursday, Gates said about half of the command's missions would be reassigned to other organizations but should remain in the Norfolk-Suffolk area of Virginia.
When he announced his decision last summer, Gates said the military no longer required a "separate four-star combatant command, which, in the case of (the Joint Forces Command) entails about 2,800 military and civilian positions and roughly 3,000 contractors of all kinds at an annual cost of at least $240 million to operate."