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United States Joint Forces Command
JFCOM Logo.jpg
Emblem of the United States Joint Forces Command.
Active 1999-present
Country United States
Type Unified Combatant Command
Size 1.16 million active and reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines
Headquarters Norfolk, Virginia
Nickname USJFCOM
Combatant Commander General James N. Mattis

United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces. Unlike the six commands with responsibility for war plans and operations in specified portions of the world, USJFCOM is a functional command that provides specific services to the military.

The current commander is U.S. Marine Corps General James N. Mattis. He relieved General Lance L. Smith on 9 November 2007, and was simultaneously Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, leading NATO's Allied Command Transformation until 08 September 2009, when this came under command of a French General.



USJFCOM was formed in 1999 when the old United States Atlantic Command was renamed and given a new mission: leading the transformation of the U.S. military through experimentation and education. USLANTCOM had been active from 1947 to 1993 as a primarily U.S. Navy command, focused upon the wartime defence of the Atlantic sea lanes against Soviet attack. After the end of the Cold War, a 1993 reorganisation gave the Command a new acronym, USACOM, and brought United States Army Forces Command and Air Combat Command under its authority.[1]


United States Joint Forces Command is one of ten combatant commands in the United States Department of Defense, and the only combatant command focused on the transformation of U.S. military capabilities.

Among his duties, the commander of USJFCOM oversees the command's four primary roles in transformation - joint concept development and experimentation, joint training, joint interoperability and integration, and the primary conventional force provider as outlined in the Unified Command Plan approved by the President.

The Unified Command Plan designates USJFCOM as the "transformation laboratory" of the United States military to enhance the combatant commanders' capabilities to implement the president's strategy. USJFCOM develops joint operational concepts, tests these concepts through rigorous experimentation, educates joint leaders, trains joint task force commanders and staffs, and recommends joint solutions to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to better integrate their warfighting capabilities.

The benchmark of USJFCOM's efforts is to create effects in the battlespace in support of campaigns designed and conducted by the combatant commanders in pursuit of presidentially-approved policy goals.

In doing so, USJFCOM seeks the coherent integration of military capabilities with other elements of national and allied power. The joint force concept development and experimentation focus is an inherent component of this mission. The cornerstone of this program is the development of future concepts for joint warfighting.

This work builds on and strengthens service efforts, draws on the best of industry, and flows directly from the President's National Security Strategy, the Secretary of Defense's National Defense Strategy and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's National Military Strategy.

The joint force trainer role allows USJFCOM to rapidly introduce new doctrine and receive immediate feedback from the warfighters, while preparing warfighting commanders to prepare for their missions in a realistic joint environment. USJFCOM has also led the way in developing a Joint National Training Capability that ties together existing service training sites so forces can train in a common joint environment.

As the joint force integrator, USJFCOM helps develop, evaluate, and prioritize the solutions to the interoperability problems plaguing the joint warfighter. At USJFCOM, joint interoperability and integration initiatives continue to deliver materiel and non-materiel solutions to interoperability challenges by working closely with combatant commanders, services and government agencies to identify and resolve joint warfighting deficiencies.

This work is one of the most important near-term factors required to transform the legacy forces and establish a "coherently integrated joint force."

In late 2004, U.S. Joint Forces Command assumed the role of primary conventional force provider. This landmark change assigned nearly all U.S. conventional forces to Joint Forces Command. Along with this responsibility came the task to develop a new 'risk-assessment' process that provided national leaders a world-wide perspective on force-sourcing solutions.

This process not only helps national decision makers make more informed choices on supporting ongoing and emergent operations, but also allows military commanders to foresee potential readiness problems and develop mitigation strategies, thus allowing the United States to maintain the nation's forces at the highest possible levels of readiness.

USJFCOM personnel include members from each branch of the U.S. military, civil servants, contract employees, and consultants.

Its operations and exercises have included Noble Resolve, an experimentation campaign plan to enhance homeland defense and improve military support to civil authorities in advance of and following natural and man-made disasters[2] and Empire Challenge, an annual intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) interoperability demonstration.[3]


JFCOM has four component commands, a sub-unified command (Special Operations component is SOCJFCOM and eight subordinate activities, including: Joint Warfighting Center; Joint Systems Integration Center; Joint Transformation Command for Intelligence; and Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC). JFCOM's Service components are the CONUS based commands that provide forces to other combatant commands and have primary responsibility to their services for requirements validation.

JFCOM Special Operations

  • Special Operations Command Joint Forces Command (SOCJFCOM)

JFCOM Subcommand

Strategy and Policy Directorate

The Strategy and Policy Directorate is the branch of the command tasked with planning.

According to James W. Harrison Jr., the director in 2004, the Directorate's responsibilities included preparing plans to [4]:

"...directly support the DoD priorities of the global war on terrorism, joint warfighting capabilities, transforming the joint force, optimization of intelligence capabilities, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as DoD efforts to more effectively deal with pre-war opportunities and post-war responsibilities."


Knowledge Information Fusion Exchange (KnIFE)

The Knowledge and Information Fusion Exchange (KnIFE) is an operational capability of the Joint Center for Operational Analysis. KnIFE consolidates current, relevant irregular warfare data from numerous sources into a central web portal easily accessible by U.S. and coalition warfighters anywhere in the world. Located at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, Va, KnIFE is the Department of Defense’s foundational information brokerage and repository for all IED information.

KnIFE consolidates reports, best practices, and tactics, techniques, and procedures. Additionally, KnIFE provides theater-specific foreign language training materials and a searchable photo library. Warfighters use KnIFE to access current battlefield information for rapid adaptation to constantly changing enemy tactics. The KnIFE information sharing capability provides valuable, current information to units in-theater or preparing for deployment.

Key Features of KnIFE

KnIFE provides current and relevant IW information in support of warfighters, research, development, intelligence and training. It also provides automated email updates on topics of interest delivered directly to the warfighter. It has also made IW enhancements to areas such as, counter sniper operations, IED finance networks, and human terrain. The KnIFE knowledge management concept can be custom tailored for the combat training centers and the combatant command exercise support program. KnIFE maintains a 24/7 operations center in addition to the topic-centric Web portals. IED requests for information are answered rapidly, usually within 24 hours, providing materials tailored to the warfighters’ rapidly changing irregular warfare requirements.

Joint Concept Development & Experimentation Directorate

The Directorate oversees the joint concept development and experimentation roles and responsibilities delegated to USJFCOM. These roles are outlined in the Department of Defense-issued Unified Command Plan:

The Directorate collaborates with the military services, combatant commanders, U.S. government agencies, multinational partners, and other to validate those concepts and to provide recommendations to the military and civilian leadership. The measure of success is improved future military capabilities in the hands of warfighters, as well as improved coalition capabilities in multinational operations.

Former commanders


External links


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