By Christopher J. Castelli, Amanda Palleschi / March 31, 2011 at 10:32 PM

U.S. Joint Forces Command chief Gen. Raymond Odierno today defended plans to disestablish JFCOM, noting key functions would move to the Joint Staff's J-7, J-3 and J-8 directorates. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee chairman, criticized the planned changes at a hearing on the subject, but Odierno argued strides in jointness over the years show JFCOM is no longer needed.

"We're much better at [jointness] today than we were ten or 15 years ago," Odierno said, adding that Defense Secretary Robert Gates "believes, and I believe, it is no longer necessary to have a four-star command to oversee the process of jointness."

Under the new construct, "key functions and missions will now be linked together in a more efficient and effective manner under the Deputy Director Joint Staff J-7 for Joint and Coalition Warfare -- an organization that provides a one-stop-shop for preserving jointness and developing the joint force." according to Odierno's prepared testimony.

JFCOM's joint force provider role will go to the Joint Staff's J-3 directorate. JFCOM's Joint Capability Development and Integration (J-8) shop will "merge essential elements of the Joint Systems Integration Center and Joint Fires Integration and Interoperability Team into the organization to provide a comprehensive systems requirements identification and assessment capability," and will be reassigned to the Joint Staff's Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment (J-8) directorate, the testimony states.