Virginia officials reacted with bipartisan dismay on Monday to Defense Department budget shifts that will cost the state thousands of jobs in coming years and will dramatically impact the economies of the Norfolk area and Northern Virginia. Most of the immediate reaction revolved around Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’s proposal to close the U.S. Joint Forces Command. It is a major employer in Hampton Roads, including Norfolk and Virginia Beach, whose elimination could translate into the loss of 6,100 military, civilian and contractor jobs in the region. But, the Washington Post reports, a proposal to slash the Pentagon’s budget for military contractors over the next three years could also be as significant to the economy of the Washington region.
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