U.S. Joint Forces Command Effects Military Transformation
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2007 A U.S. military combatant command with headquarters in Norfolk, Va., is helping warfighters worldwide think and fight jointly to win the war against terrorism, a senior U.S. military officer told the House Armed Services Committee at a hearing here today.
“As a command, we work hard to ensure our 1.16 million active duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians operate seamlessly and interdependently with each other and with our interagency and multinational partners, maximizing all instruments of national power to fight and win,” Air Force Gen. Lance L. Smith, chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command, stated in remarks provided to the committee.
Smith, who wears a second hat as NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation, said JFCOM provides joint-force commanders “with timely, relevant enabling capabilities.” This, he explained, includes trained and ready joint forces capable of working with U.S. government agencies, allies and non-governmental organizations.
The organization’s headquarters staff has more than 5,300 military members from all the armed services, government civilians and contractors. Smith said they “bring a combined expertise that is unique among military and civilian organizations.”
The command has overseen multiple deployments of standing joint force headquarters and other military assets to meet combatant commanders’ operational needs worldwide, Smith said. JFCOM also provides “robust and tailored” tactical communications support to both conventional and special operations units deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
JFCOM also has helped coordinate the deployment of more than 310,000 personnel in support of combatant commanders worldwide, Smith stated.
As DoD’s lead agency charged with infusing joint operations across the military services, JFCOM “is responsible for recommending changes in doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel and facilities to integrate service, defense agency, and interagency and multinational capabilities,” he said.
JFCOM developed jointly staffed, intelligence quick-reaction teams to assist overseas-deployed combat commanders, Smith noted, as well as joint public affairs support elements.
“In the last two years, these elements supported operations in numerous locations including the U.S. Gulf Coast, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Horn of Africa, Lebanon and Pakistan in support of the war on terror, disaster relief and non-combatant evacuations,” he stated.
Another JFCOM element, the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, also is employed in the war against terror, he told the committee.
“This center develops and adapts modeling and simulation technologies for analysis, computation and the presentation of options to combatant commands,” Smith said. “JWAC’s support to the warfighter in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 was substantial, and will be again in 2007.”