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Obama Approves JFCOM's Closure: President Obama has approved the plan put forth by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to disestablish US Joint Forces Command, which is headquartered in Norfolk, Va. "I hereby accept the recommendations," stated Obama in a White House memorandum dated Jan. 6. He said the disestablishment would take effect on a date that the Defense Secretary determines. Gates last August recommended shuttering the organization as one means of shedding excess Defense Department overhead. He argued that many of JFCOM's functions were no longer needed or had become redundant. Virginia lawmakers initially resisted the move. Last week, while briefing reporters on budget matters, Gates said his office had "identified a number of missions" that DOD intends to retain in the Norfolk and surrounding area. "We are still refining the details, but expect that roughly 50 percent of the capabilities under JFCOM will be kept and assigned to other organizations," he said. (Gates-Mullen transcript)