Since Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s August 9 announcement of the potential closure of U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce has been engaged in the issue. The Chamber is focused on working with Virginia’s Congressional delegation and all Hampton Roads localities to save JFCOM and its associated missions.
In September, the Chamber formed a special Joint Forces Command Task Force aimed at addressing the problem on a local level. The task force, made up of approximately 25 volunteers, is concentrating on a three-part strategy of “reject, retain and replace.” John Peterson, Senior Vice President of Development for Terry-Peterson Companies, serves as Task Force Chair and Suffolk City Councilman Robert Barclay serves as a liaison between the council and the task force.
On October 26, the task force held its first meeting at Bon Secours Executive Offices in the Harbour View area of Suffolk. Admiral Craig Quigley, Executive Director, Hampton Roads Military & Federal Facilities Alliance (HRMFFA), provided the group with an update and insight on the potential closure of JFCOM. Read more. Admiral Quigley believes that 50-65% of JFCOM will survive and that a decision will likely come after the November mid-term election. In addition, Darryl Gosnel, President & CEO of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA), spoke to the task force about his organization’s efforts to recruit new businesses and industries to the region. Patrick Roberts, Suffolk’s Deputy City Manager, and Kevin Hughes, Suffolk’s Director of Economic Development, provided an update from the city.
If you are interested in volunteering on the Chamber’s JFCOM Task Force, please contact Dean McClain, Municipal Affairs Director, at 757-664-2560.