JFCOM contractor expands to area

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, February 10, 2011

On the heels of Wednesday’s announcement heralding the Pentagon’s plan to trim the footprint of USJFCOM in Suffolk and at its other Hampton Roads locations, a company with a multi-million dollar JFCOM contract announced plans to open a new office nearby.

Officials from TASC will cut the ribbon today on their third Hampton Roads office, to be located at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, just over the Suffolk line on University Boulevard in Portsmouth.

The defense company was founded in 1966 and provides advanced engineering, integration and decision-support services to the intelligence community, to the Department of Defense and to civilian agencies of the federal government.

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The company won a $3.2-million contract last year to help JFCOM develop and test information sharing and collaboration methods that will improve communication between the Pentagon and its international partners, according to a company press release.

About 30 employees will move into the new office, the release stated. More than 100 people are employed by the company in three offices across the region.

“TASC has a number of important customers across the Hampton Roads region, and we want to make sure our locations make physical access easy,” said Steve Turner, TASC regional manager for Hampton Roads. “We are very pleased to be opening an office in Portsmouth and look forward to growing our footprint here.”

The company was a unit of Northrop Grumman Corp. from 2001 until 2009, when it became an independent company. It employs about 5,000 people at 40 locations and has plans to hire 1,300 more across the country in a year or so, according to the press release.

General Raymond T. Odierno on Wednesday announced the broad plan under which the Department of Defense would disestablish JFCOM, which is headquartered in Norfolk but has a Suffolk site where it currently employs about 2,000 people in three buildings.

About half of the command’s total Virginia workforce of 4,700 will be trimmed, including about 500 from the Suffolk facility, Odierno said, and many of those losing their jobs will be contractors. Only about 20 percent of JFCOM’s contract forces will be kept on after March 2012, he said.

Many of the jobs in Suffolk will be protected, however, because the military has chosen to keep the command’s modeling and simulation functions intact.

Even though the company is actually located in Portsmouth, its announcement seemed to lend credence to a pronouncement by Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson on Wednesday.

“We remain optimistic that Harbour View is, in fact, a node of technology,” Johnson said. “We’re still opening businesses in Harbour View every day.”