Inside DOD


Amber Corrin

Inside DOD

By Amber Corrin

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Joint Forces commander details plans for closure

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.

Posted on Feb 11, 2011 at 7:25 PM2 comments


Army CIO watch: Nomination announcement expected soon

 A formal announcement could be coming soon regarding the Army’s nomination for a new chief information officer.

Maj. Gen. Susan Lawrence is the anticipated nominee. She is currently assigned as a special assistant to Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, and previously was commanding general of Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona.

Inside sources say her nomination has cleared the desk of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and has been submitted to the White House. The timing of the announcement remains uncertain, and could be as long as 45 days, according to sources.

Lawrence would replace Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, who stepped down as Army CIO on Nov. 4. In the interim, deputy CIO Mike Krieger has been filling in.

Check back for further coverage.

Posted on Jan 07, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments


Gates prepares more details on cuts to the defense budget

Secretary Robert Gates tomorrow is expected to discuss the forthcoming fiscal 2012 defense budget, including ongoing and controversial measures to shave over $100 billion in Defense Department spending.

That money, under Gates’ proposals from last summer, was supposed to go toward war spending, but now, it appears there may be a tug-of-war going on as the White House pushes for more saving. The administation apparently wants to have at least some of the money directed toward reducing the federal deficit.

Still, Gates may retain some leverage – though his office has publicly stated he plans to retire in 2011, at least one industry analyst says that President Barack Obama is working to persuade him to stay through the end of Obama’s term, according to a Reuters report.

The offices of top Democrats and Republicans from both the House and Senate armed forces committees have confirmed a scheduled meeting with Gates tomorrow, and although the Pentagon press office so far does not have a briefing scheduled, numerous published reports say he will address the press after the meeting on Capitol Hill.

According to the Washington Post, the DOD budget will see roughly $12 billion cut from original plans for fiscal 2012.

Unnamed sources told Reuters that tomorrow Gates will announce the cancellation of the Marine Corps’s $13 billion Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program and a Pentagon surface-launched missile program, as well as the extension of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Posted on Jan 05, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments


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