USA — Joint Forces Command Mission Remains Clear, Odierno Says

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2010 — While U.S. Joint Forces Command’s future is uncer­tain, its mis­sion is clear, the organization’s new com­man­der said today.

Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates has rec­om­mend­ed dis­es­tab­lish­ing Joint Forces Com­mand as part of a greater Depart­ment of Defense effi­cien­cies effort, Army Gen. Ray­mond T. Odier­no not­ed upon assum­ing the command’s reins, but the end state of the command’s trans­for­ma­tive process remains to be deter­mined.

“We will work with the depart­ment to iden­ti­fy and retain the key func­tions that Joint Forces Com­mand pro­vides for the warfight­er, elim­i­nate redun­dan­cies, and right-size key func­tions that may be trans­ferred to oth­er orga­ni­za­tions,” Odier­no said upon assum­ing com­mand. “As we do this, a top pri­or­i­ty will be to take care of the great Amer­i­cans that make up this orga­ni­za­tion, and to be trans­par­ent to the local com­mu­ni­ty. This is no easy task, and this respon­si­bil­i­ty I will not take light­ly.”

Through­out the trans­for­ma­tion, he added, Joint Forces Com­mand still has a job to do: “That is to keep our forces armed and ready, and to ruin our ene­mies’ day.”

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over the Suf­folk, Va., cer­e­mo­ny trans­fer­ring com­mand to Odier­no from Army Lt. Gen. Kei­th M. Huber, who has served as act­ing com­man­der since Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mat­tis left Joint Forces Com­mand in August to lead U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand.

Odier­no thanked the command’s work force for its ded­i­ca­tion and Huber for his per­for­mance as act­ing com­man­der.

“Your abil­i­ty to step right in, [with] the com­mand not los­ing a beat, says a lot about your lead­er­ship and your care for suc­cess,” he said.

Huber also praised Joint Forces Command’s employ­ees for their “patience and per­sis­tence in your duty per­for­mance as we set the con­di­tions for the wel­come arrival and tran­si­tion of Gen­er­al Odier­no.”

“This is a day of recog­ni­tion to the men and women of Joint Forces Com­mand, in and out of uni­form, who dur­ing this time of uncer­tain­ty con­tin­ued to pro­vide crit­i­cal sup­port to the joint warfight­er, as they focus on win­ning today’s bat­tles and prepar­ing for the future,” he said.

Before assum­ing lead­er­ship of Joint Forces Com­mand, Odier­no served as com­man­der of U.S. Forces Iraq from Sep­tem­ber 2008 until last month. Before that, he was com­mand­ing gen­er­al of the Army’s 3rd Corps. Dur­ing that assign­ment, he served a 15-month deploy­ment as com­mand­ing gen­er­al of Multi­na­tion­al Corps Iraq.

Odier­no grad­u­at­ed from the U.S. Mil­i­tary Acad­e­my at West Point, N.Y., in 1976. He holds a mas­ter of sci­ence degree in nuclear effects engi­neer­ing from North Car­oli­na State Uni­ver­si­ty and a mas­ter of arts degree in nation­al secu­ri­ty and strat­e­gy from the Naval War Col­lege. He also is a grad­u­ate of the U.S. Army War Col­lege.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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