McDonnell takes JFCOM fight to the White House

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

NORFOLK, VA (WWBT) - Governor Bob McDonnell has taken his fight to save an important military installation in Norfolk all the way to the White House. The Governor is telling the President of the United States, that the process by which the base will be shut down is unfair.

Last week, McDonnell made the argument that the decision to close Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Norfolk is the wrong one.

"This is a very bad decision in my opinion," said McDonnell at a press event with Congressional leaders, "Not only for Virginia but for the United States military."

Now in strongly worded letters to both President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Governor argues that the way the decision was reached was incorrect.

In the letters, McDonnell writes that Secretary Gates proposal was, "not taken as the result of open dialogue and transparency in the decision making process."

Traditionally, the Pentagon makes closes military installations based on the recommendations of the a-political Base Realignment and Closure Committee or BRAC.  McDonnell argues in his letter that an outfit the size of JFCOM deserves a BRAC review.

In addition to the BRAC argument, McDonnell also reiterated his belief that closing JFCOM could leave the country at risk.

"Now is simply not the time to engage in reducing the war fighting capabilities of the United States military..." he wrote.

At this point the Defense Department has not outlined how JFCOM will be shut down, or what recourse local officials may have.

Wednesday, the congressional delegation that represents the area impacted by the potential closure will hold a roundtable discussion. Representatives Rob Whittman, Randy Forbes Glen Nye and Bobby Scott will meet at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation center in Suffolk.

*This is just one of many issues the Governor is dealing with this week. You can read more about what he is up to on our political blog

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