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Regional Leaders United in Opposition to JFCOM Closing

The announced closing of the Joint Forces Command with major facilities in Norfolk and Suffolk is now a well-publicized workforce and business blow to Hampton Roads, as well as a matter that could potentially have a great impact upon our national security as well as cooperative endeavors with our NATO allies.

From our well-attended meeting at VMASC Aug. 18 to review the JFCOM decision issued by Secretary Gates, one thing is clear - the area's leaders are completely engaged in trying to prevent the closing from happening.

Last week, Governor McDonnell held a press conference on the ODU campus to question the transparency of the decision making and lack of required Congressional involvement in the process.

Yesterday (Aug. 18), Congressmen Forbes, Scott, Wittman and Nye, along with a large delegation of other elected officials and leaders, began formulating a strategy to oppose the JFCOM closing. Representatives from the Governor's office, along with aides to Senators Warner and Webb, were also in attendance to express their concern and support.

For Old Dominion, JFCOM has been a longtime partner and friend. It has been an important catalyst for many of VMASC's successes and has been a driver in this region for business attraction and job creation. While we have worked at diversifying our modeling and simulation capabilities into fields such as healthcare, supply chain and logistics, transportation, advanced manufacturing, and education, it remains of critical importance to ODU, our region, the Commonwealth and our nation that the mission and capabilities of JFCOM remain in Hampton Roads.

Please know that John Sokolowski at VMASC, I and other university leaders will be working hard to support the efforts of our political and civic leaders to reverse the JFCOM decision.

This article was posted on: August 19, 2010

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