Forbes meets with Gen. Odierno

Published 7:28 pm Saturday, December 25, 2010

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) has been named as the new chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee as a result of the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.

Forbes, a Republican who represents a district that includes nearly all of Suffolk, will officially assume his new title when Congress reconvenes in January.

“Congressman Forbes has been an integral member of our team at the Armed Services Committee,” Committee Chairman-elect Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (CA-25) said in making the announcement. “Randy has always placed the well being of our nation’s men and women in uniform above all other priorities, and I’m confident his commitment to those brave troops will continue once he takes over the reins of the Readiness Subcommittee.”

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A member of the House Armed Services Committee since he took office in 2001, Forbes has been a champion for the relationship between the city of Suffolk and the military. His desire to protect that relationship has been highlighted in recent months by his work to fight the proposed closure of U.S. Joint Forces Command, a Norfolk-based military agency with a 2,000-person presence in North Suffolk.

On Wednesday, in fact, Forbes met with Gen. Raymond Odierno, the new commander of JFCOM, to talk about the developing plans for closing at least a portion of the command, which is charged with teaching and developing the concept of “jointness” among the various branches of the military and between the United States and its allies.

Having fought for months what he referred to as a “wall of secrecy” at the Pentagon regarding the basis for the decision to shutter all or part of JFCOM, Forbes on Wednesday applauded Odierno’s “candor” in discussing the matters that are involved.

“Although there are many questions that remain unanswered as to the future role and function of these first-class military facilities, I am pleased that a continuing dialogue has been established between members of Congress and the military and civilian leadership in the Department of Defense,” Forbes said in a press release.

“I look forward to strengthening the relationships between members of Congress and Department of Defense leaders like General Odierno who recognize the proper role of congressional oversight to ensure that the American military maintains its superiority and to make certain that Joint Forces Command will continue to play a vital role in providing services to enhance the military’s jointness and technological capabilities.”