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Defense Department Expected to Announce Elimination of Major Command Group

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Defense Department is expected to announce
today that it plans to eliminate one of its 10 major military commands to save money.

The Associated Press has also learned that Defense Secretary
Robert Gates wants to cut the Pentagon's use of outside contractors
by 10 percent next year.

Officials briefed on the plans say Gates wants to eliminate the Joint Forces Command, which trains troops from different services to fight together.

The Virginia-based command has nearly 4,900 employees and annual salaries of more than $200 million.

Gen. Ray Odierno, now the war commander in Iraq, is scheduled to
take over the Joint Forces Command.

That means his job will be to get rid of his own office.

The Pentagon has set a target of cutting $100 billion over five years.


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