NORFOLK, Va. - They may not always be seen, but their operations keep you safe.
"During the early days of COVID-19, JECC was completely integrated in the response efforts. When I visited Bahrain, what I saw was a team of JECCsters leading operations with our coalition partners, and Vice Admiral Malloy absolutely loved it," said General Stephen Lyons with U.S. Transportation Command. "And this past December when President Trump ordered the re-positioning of forces out of Somalia by 15 January, it was the JECC that got the call and was moving within 24 hours."
The Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, with a presence in both Norfolk and Tampa, Florida, plan, develop and execute response efforts to help other forces when our country is in crisis.
"It's an amazing organization that relies so heavily on the total component force," said Major General Sean Jenkins, former commander of JECC.
Up until his retirement Friday morning, Major General Sean Jenkins commanded the 1,500-member unit. The unit is comprised of 30% of Active Duty members, 25% of National Guard members, 28% of Reservists, 9% of civilians and 8% of contractors.
It's a unit that deploys quickly, providing capabilities for missions like Operation Warp Speed and hurricane relief.
"[We are ready] when contingency arises and the call comes out that we need either augmentation or we need the ability to stand up a staff, a complete staff, for a designated JTF commander," said MG Jenkins.
The "joint" in the name was exemplified further on Friday as colors were passed from Army Command to Navy Command.
"There's iniquities. There are some smiles too, so you know, 'Wow ,that's service-specific' or, 'That's Army;' 'That's Navy' or whatever, but that's good because I think as you stretch the boundaries a little bit things moral, ethical, equal and respectful, you're going to improve the unit," said MG Jenkins.
Rear Admiral Paul Spedero is now leading critical planners, joint public affairs and digital communications.
When News 3 teporter Erin Miller asked what the days ahead look like, he said, "I'd say my number one thing is to not get in [the unit's] way so I can continue to enable them to complete their mission. They have a remarkable reputation; they are highly sought after by virtually all the combatant commands."
The JECC is designed to efficiently and effectively meet Joint Task Force commanders' requirements for a rapidly deployable, tailored team of experts in plans, operations, knowledge management, intelligence support, logistics, public affairs and communications.
"They will fall in as a seamless appendant to what you're doing, and that's the entire point of this unit," said Rear Adm. Spedero.
With heartfelt appreciation to his family and unit, MG Jenkins said, "I think it's a blessing, this organization."