Not all combatant commanders own forces. No combatant command executes missions with only its forces. If we want trained and competent forces, there must be an organization to coordinate and evaluate interoperability. Today, only JFCOM stands a chance of successfully laying the groundwork for the myriad potential operations.
In the ideal military world, every combatant commander would have forces trained, equipped, and stationed in their areas of responsibility (AOR). They would have specific skill sets and equipment designed for the environment where they will be employed. This would cost an infiquatrillion dollars. We don’t live in that world.
There are combatant commands with few or no forces stationed in their AORs. Most of our forces are stationed in the United States and are on call for multiple contingencies in multiple AORs. Those forces are trained and equipped to a sort of common mission denominator. It is not possible to train those forces in all the AORs to which they may deploy; cost and time prohibitive. Joint Forces Command is in the best position to train conventional forces that can be used in adaptive planning scenarios to a level acceptable to all combatant commanders. It is possible that there could be a better location, but that is not certain. It should be on a coast near operating forces. Relying on the individual combatant commanders would be disjointed and expensive. It would not deliver the flexible capabilities we rely upon for our national security.
One other item. There is criticism of having the command a four star flag and staff. Well the fact is that when the commander who is going to coordinate training sits at the table with competing four star commanders, all certain they know best how to train and equip their forces, anything less would be ineffective. As everywhere, efficiencies can be sought. The role and scope can be scrutinized. But without JFCOM, whoever conducts the training will be executing a function replicated as many as seven times; or we will send forces to combat improperly trained.