Official: Contractors will bear brunt of personnel cuts at command

Contractors will bear the brunt of personnel cuts when the Defense Department dismantles the U.S. Joint Forces Command this year, Army Gen. Raymond Odierno said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Odierno said 2,000 of the nearly 3,000 positions slated for elimination will be contractor positions. Defense will reduce by about half the total personnel associated with the Joint Forces, he said, restating previously announced figures.

Ending Joint Forces, the command tasked with ensuring interservice cooperation and military training for future operations, would save Defense more than $400 million annually, Odierno added.

The announcement comes a month after President Obama officially authorized the dismantling of the command. Defense Secretary Robert Gates originally announced Defense's plan to close the command in August as part of a broader series of cuts that included a partial hiring freeze and contractor funding reductions.

Most personnel cuts will come from the Norfolk and Suffolk, Va., areas, where Joint Forces is headquartered, but Odierno said Nevada and Florida, where Joint Forces has operations, also will experience job losses. Career services will be provided to those who lose their jobs, he said.

No specific positions have been identified for elimination yet, Odierno said. He expected that process to take place during the next couple of months, and said Joint Forces would be dismantled by the end of August, with all personnel moves completed by March 2012.

A two-star general -- Odierno did not say whom -- will lead a new organization responsible for many of the Joint Forces core missions and will be the deputy director for operational plans and joint force development on the Joint Staff. This person will lead the organization from the Norfolk-Suffolk area.

The new organization will not be merely a trimmed down version of the Joint Forces, Odierno emphasized. "We are taking a major departure from past organizational design, procedure and mind-set to more effectively execute [Joint Forces] core functions and sustain the jointness we have worked so hard to achieve in the past," he said. In addition, the new organization will rely on modeling and simulation to better develop training programs, military concepts and doctrine.

Odierno left open the possibility that the number of contractors working with the new organization could grow in the future, depending on demand. "If we're successful two years from now, you might find that other areas of [Defense] are sending money here for us to work their concepts and development." he said. "We can expand based on relevancy."

He will submit a detailed implementation plan to Gates within the next 30 days, but said he would continue to refine plans as the process unfolds.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.