Time for the future

Published 6:48 pm Saturday, April 16, 2011

Even months after the closing of U.S. Joint Forces Command, the dichotomy of good news/bad news surrounding the command continues.

Just this last week, Capstone Corporation announced it could lay off as many as 63 employees by August as a direct result of the disestablishment of the combatant command with a presence in North Suffolk.

Only a few days later, though, came the announcement that hundreds of civilian JFCOM jobs had been shifted to other commands, preserving paychecks for these valuable servants and taxpayers.

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And right after that announcement, even, Rep. J. Randy Forbes announced that a provision he inserted in a federal budget bill would stop taxpayer funding from being used for the dismantling of JFCOM until Congress receives a full report on cost-savings analyses, strategic and operational consequences, local economic impact of the closure, a plan for resources available to the affected communities and more.

After the potential closing first became widely known in August, there was much doubt and fear among many about how the region would turn out. But hard work by local, state and federal representatives brought about a number of concessions from the Department of Defense, softening the blow of the changes and perhaps even succeeding in keeping the remnants of the command largely in this area.

The continuing reports of potential layoffs from local defense and technical companies are to be expected, but they likely are not as bad as they could have been were it not for the bipartisan cooperation of lawmakers on all levels from many different states and localities.

The fear of the fallout is over, and the time for Suffolk to come out even better than it was before has begun. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the area.