WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Joint Forces Command has done its job of helping meld the separate services into a unified fighting force, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Thursday at the ceremony to officially shut down the command.
“Through the course of two wars, we have built an incredible joint force in ways many of us could not have imagined,” Mullen told spectators at the casing of colors ceremony in Norfolk, Va. “In fact, your efforts have permeated every level of our military.”
JFCOM was established in 1995 to train separate Pentagon branches to work together. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates selected it for closure last year for budgetary reasons. Thousands of civilian jobs have since been cut and military members have been transferred to other commands.
Working as one is a lesson the U.S. military has learned, said Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the final JFCOM commander. Odierno was confirmed by the Senate earlier this week to take over as Army Chief of Staff.
“We’re not walking away from jointness,” Odierno said. “But rather we’re adapting to a new reality.”