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Sen. Jim Webb wants a committee hearing on DoD’s recommendation to close JFCOM

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Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) wants a Senate hearing on the Department of Defense’s recommendation to the president to eliminate the U. S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk. In a letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, of which he is a member, Webb challenged the legal basis for last week’s recommendation, part of an initiative by Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reduce overhead costs.

He said he found the secretary’s lack of prior consultation with Congress “deeply troubling,” particularly since the Armed Services Committee has played an oversight role in gaining efficiencies by closing or realigning military installations.


JFCOM employs about 6,000 people in the Hampton Roads areas.

  “Given the broad scope, legal implications and potentially far-reaching impacts associated with the secretary’s ‘efficiency initiatives,’ I wish to request that the full committee address them when the Senate returns from its current recess.” 

Webb noted in the letter that the department has not responded to an earlier request to provide him with the legal opinion of its general counsel to support Gates’ recommendation. While many of the secretary’s actions appear to be within his authority, Webb said some of the initiatives should be addressed as part of the normal budgeting and programming cycle.


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