NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Just days after President Barack Obama accepted Defense Secretary Robert Gates' recommendation to close down the Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), its commanding officer Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno addressed local media on Monday.
Odierno said the implementation plan for JFCOM's disestablishment - a joint effort between the General and Secretary Gates - was expected to be finalized in the next 30 to 45 days.
After the final plan is approved by Gates, Odierno said the timeframe for the command's ultimate closure was expected to take anywhere from 12 to 15 months.
Gates announced last August that he would recommend JFCOM be eliminated and its essential functions assigned to other organizations. Nearly 4000 JFCOM jobs are based in Hampton Roads.
During a news briefing on other Defense cuts last Thursday, Gates announced that, while details were still being refined, a number of JFCOM missions will be retained in Hampton Roads and that "roughly 50 percent of the capabilities under JFCOM will be kept and assigned to other organizations."
Virginia Senator Mark Warner reiterated that same information to WAVY News 10 on Friday, stating that approximately 2000 jobs currently at JFCOM would stay in Hampton Roads after the command is closed. Warner said most of the jobs to stay were in the modeling and simulation industry.
Odierno said Monday he expects JFCOM's closure will result in the loss of nearly 2000 jobs, but save the Department of Defense approximately $400 million annually.
Odierno said several key functions will remain in the Hampton Roads area after the command closes, and some jobs will be shifted to other commands.
"We probably won't be able to take care of 100 percent of the work force, but we're going to do every thing we can to provide assistance and help as we move forward," Odierno said during a briefing with reporters.
The job losses will involve active military, civilian Department of Defense employees, and contractors. Odierno said the ax will likely fall heavier on contractors.
Detectives are investigating a homicide that occurred in the East End of Newport News Tuesday night.
The Northampton County Sheriff's Office is looking for the person who broke into a garage and stole a family pet.
The debate over a methadone clinic reached Portsmouth City Council Chambers Tuesday night. Several residents are against the planned location of the clinic near I.C. Norcom High School.