23 July 2010

Eliminate JFCOM? DBB Thinks So

According to TheHill.com, the Defense Business Board is recommending that Secretary Gates eliminate Joint Forces Command as a way to save some money.

A Pentagon advisory board is expected to recommend that Defense Secretary Robert Gates eliminate the Joint Forces Command as part of a drive to cut Pentagon bloat.

The Defense Business Board (DBB), the Pentagon’s independent board of economic and business advisers, has been tasked by Gates to recommend options for reducing the Pentagon’s overhead, or indirect operating expenses. The board is also expected to offer recommendations on making the Pentagon’s business operations more efficient.

Gates has launched a sweeping initiative to find about $100 billion in savings over the next five years by reducing unnecessary spending at the Pentagon. The goal is to pour that savings into the fighting force and the modernization of weapons systems.

The Pentagon is expected to pay $200 billion in overhead costs this year — an amount higher than the entire gross domestic product of Israel or the United Arab Emirates, according to the DBB.

The board in October will submit its final and formal short- and longer-term recommendations, which are likely to include the elimination of Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), one of the Department of Defense’s 10 combatant commands, which is headquartered in Norfolk, Va.

DBB has found JFCOM has more contractors on its payroll than military and civilian personnel.

Eliminating JFCOM could save billions of dollars. Overall, the 10 combat commands, which include Central Command, European Command and Africa Command, have a total of 98,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel with yearly expenses of $16.5 billion — more than the entire State Department or NASA budgets.

By: Brant

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