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Va. Lawmakers Push Pentagon For Answers On Closure Plan

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By Manuel Quinones

Virginia Senator Jim Webb is blasting military officials for their recommendation to eliminate the Joint Forces Command based in the Hampton Roads area. Thousands of jobs are on the line.

This is an issue that’s uniting Virginia politicians from both sides of the political aisle. The elimination of the Joint Forces Command would have heavy economic effects for the Commonwealth. And Senator Webb says the Pentagon has provided little justification for its recommendation.

“The present lack of transparency and consultation particularly with our delegation stands in stark contrast with how these decisions traditionally are made," says Webb.

The plan is part of a wider Pentagon effort for savings and efficiency. And the military says the Joint Forces Command is no longer needed and its elimination would save much needed dollars. Webb asked Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn for proof.

“Mr. Secretary, I am asking for basic data," he says. "Data you can provide in one day.”

“We will look into those questions and get you the data as soon as we can," says Lynn.

Webb is asking President Obama to hold off on implementing the recommendation. And Virginia lawmakers are pushing legislation that would prevent the elimination of the Joint Forces Command unless the Pentagon makes certain information available.

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