President agrees to close joint forces command in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The White House has accepted a recommendation to close down the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk.

The command has a civilian and military work force of almost 6,000 people and a $1 billion budget.

President Barack Obama's acceptance of the recommendation on Thursday is part of a much larger effort to freeze the Pentagon's ballooning budget.

The cost-cutting plan also includes reducing the number of soldiers in the Army by 27,000 and trimming the number of Marines by 20,000, saving as much as $6 billion.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in November and said that closing the command might not be as dire as expected for the Hampton Roads economy. That's because some of its functions and jobs will remain.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)