NDTA-USTRANSCOM Meeting Confronts Challenge of Assuring Access.

PositionConference notes

Today's geopolitical landscape poses more potential challenges for defense transportation than any point in the past 25 years. The fifth annual National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)/US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) Fall Meeting addressed the challenges of assuring access--physical and cyber--necessary for military force projection.

The event, held October 10-13, returned for a second year to the historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. More than 1,230 professionals, representing more than 225 organizations in government, the military, the private sector and academia, attended.

With a 71-year heritage--and a unique co-sponsorship between NDTA and USTRANSCOM--the Fall Meeting remains the authoritative forum for defense transportation, logistics, supply chain management and distribution.

"This annual meeting is critical to maintaining the working relationships between the military and the private sector," said Vice Adm. (Ret.) Andy Brown, NDTA's President and CEO. "Our national security is stronger because of the conversations we have here. And the learning opportunities--our speakers, panelists, Transportation Academy courses and committee meetings--covered an incredible breadth and depth of timely topics. As NDTA's new President, I have the highest respect for the professionalism that our stakeholders and staff bring to this event."

FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith headlined as the 2017 keynote speaker, his first time speaking at the event since 1996. His speech--printed in full in this issue of DTJ--highlighted several challenges for the transportation industry, including the national economic environment, the current state of transportation, and the growing threats to cybersecurity.

Gen. Darren McDew, Commander, USTRANSCOM, also delivered a featured presentation during the October 11 plenary session.

"Our nation's ability to project and sustain force around the world is what makes America a superpower. Our adversaries know this and are preparing to challenge that capability in every domain," said McDew, prior to the meeting. "Bringing together logisticians from the commercial sector and the Department of Defense is key to addressing these challenges. Ultimately, logistics readiness is warfighting readiness."

Fall Meeting speaker, Dr. Phyllis A. Schneck, Managing Director and Global Leader of Cyber Solutions, Promontory, addressed blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging...

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