Public--private partnerships; A critical element in supporting the DOD and a seamless transportation supply chain.

Author:Jackson, Lee
 
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To accomplish their global joint mission, USTRANSCOM must rely upon their component commands: the Air Forces AMC, the Navy's MSC, and the Army's SDDC. They rely on their component commands to provide troops and cargo seamlessly during transition from peace to war. This reliance becomes even more critical when the DOD is required to move their troops and cargo to the battlefield. There just aren't enough government-owned assets to move our troops and cargo. The DOD is required to depend on a mix of government-owned and commercial equipment and vehicles to satisfy our war fighters' mission requirements.

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For example, under full activation, the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program provides more than 90% of DOD's international passenger capacity requirements and 39% of their international long-range air cargo capacity. (1) The Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) is the Maritime equivalent of the CRAF program. USTRANSCOM, the Maritime Administration, and the maritime industry developed VISA to provide DOD the commercial sealift and intermodal shipping services/systems necessary to meet national defense contingency requirements. (2)

Based on the success of these programs, it is logical that the DOD and USTRANSCOM should consider combining their knowledge of transportation planning and logistics with the skills and experience of the private sector in transportation and supply chain management when it comes to creating a "seamless transportation supply chain." The solutions, performance objectives, and assumptions that companies such as Dell, Wal-Mart, and Target make when seeking to improve supply chain operations differ from the government model, hut the process or methodology followed when assessing, designing, and implementing supply chain process improvements is virtually the same.

With this in mind and recognizing the fact...

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