Position:Cover story

September 28-30, 2015 * Washington DC

NDTA, USTRANSCOM Co-Host 2015 Fall Meeting

By James Marconi, Director of Public Relations, NDTA

Leaders in defense transportation, logistics and personnel services from DOD, government and private industry gathered September 28-30 for the 2015 National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)/ US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) Fall Meeting.

Co-hosted with USTRANSCOM at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland, the meeting addressed high-impact topics in defense logistics, ranging from acquisition and contracting to cybersecurity.

"We assembled what I believe is our strongest program in years, beginning day one with our University Day, a focused educational venue featuring 20 individual courses," said NDTA President RADM Mark Buzby, USN (Ret.) "Education is a key element of NDTA's mission and we are expanding our offerings to meet rapidly changing geopolitical, technological and budgetary environments."

This year, the Fall Meeting also featured a mentor-protege session that paired young professionals with seasoned logistics authorities for one-on-one networking and development.

"We saw strong participation from both sides," Buzby said. "Everyone, from student to CEO, had a chance here to learn and grow together."

Additionally, the meeting offered roundtable discussions on topics such as cybersecurity and lessons-learned from the 2014 Ebola response, Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE. Perspectives from expert speakers include Gen. Darren McDew, USAF, Commander, USTRANSCOM; David DeVries, DOD Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer; the Honorable Alan Estevez, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and Dr. Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer of The Lexington Institute.

"The NDTA Fall Meeting provides both industry and DOD a forum to learn from each other and to collaborate on innovative solutions to the challenges facing the Defense Transportation System," said McDew.

TRANSCOM Connects Military, Civilian Professionals

By Amaani Lyle, DOD News, Defense Media Activity

Originally published on Oct. 1, 2015

The commander of US Transportation Command championed partnership with the National Defense Transportation Association as they hosted their Fall Meeting and inaugural University Day.

Air Force Gen. Darren McDew said the event offered a unique opportunity for uniformed and nonuniformed members of the defense transportation services to interface with civilian contractors and commercial industry professionals while engaging in various topics critical to readiness and national security.

The general explained that the NDTAUSTRANSCOM Fall Meeting and University Day, open to all military, government, and industry registrants, not only outlines the scope of TRANSCOM responsibilities, but links the community through mentors and proteges while relating the elements of logistics, transportation, distribution and deployment.

"Very few people fully understand how intricate [TRANSCOM] is, the innovation that's behind it and all the different types of companies that are [contributing] elements that'll make us better," McDew said. "We learn as much from [younger attendees] as they learn from us ... we need energy; we need new minds, we need new ideas and new thought."


The general said he was pleased to bring these ideas to bear within TRANSCOM, a command that has long history of success and the admiration of combatant commanders across decades.

With just about a month on the job helming TRANSCOM, the 33-year Air Force veteran described his leadership perspective; "I don't walk into an organization thinking, 'What can I change?' ... I walk in thinking, 'Where might I add value?"' But, he acknowledged, challenges persist in terms of where and how a highly performing team can stay postured to meet the challenges of the future.

In light of this, the general said he recognized the value of NDTA.

"This relationship with the NDTA and TRANSCOM allows us to build stronger relationships and linkages into areas that maybe we hadn't even thought of before," the general said. "You can't build a relationship when you need it; you must foster and build that relationship before you even know you need it."


And though NDTA helps to infuse new thinking for future missions, the inconsistency of the budget remains a current challenge, McDew said, noting that budgets will get smaller.

The general explained that while efficiency goals over the last five years have been effective, the DOD overall hasn't had an on-time budget with which it can plan and modernize--and a continuing resolution won't help. "A continuing resolution is tougher to deal with because there're so many [more] 'can'ts' ... than 'cans.'"

But budget isn't a factor in certain threats, he said. McDew deemed cyber challenges to be a significant factor the nation and its allies must face, if only for its low cost of entry. "Many people can get into this business; we don't know how effective they can be until they're in, and ... we've got to get better at how to defend it," he said.

The general therefore pledged to continue to grow the enterprise so that combatant commanders and nations around the world can remain global and agile.


"We've got great folks," McDew said of his sealift and airlift personnel around the globe. "As I get them to be more innovative and be relationship-builders where they are, I think they'll get even stronger."

The general explained that there are countries around the world struggling to sustain themselves a mere 30 miles outside their capital. "We can sustain our forces globally," McDew said. "There's not a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine that ever worries where their next bullet is going to come from or whether they'll have a meal that evening."

The general said the event's theme, Delivering Readiness Amid Risk--Together, ties in to the concept of leveraging every element of the TRANSCOM network.

"From [Defense Logistics Agency] to TRANSCOM to the commercial side to all of our components, they must individually be strong to collectively work together," the general said. "This is a great venue to share ideas, to get stronger in knowing each other and knowing each other's weaknesses so we can cover for each other."

The general praised the "unheralded top performers" in the DOD enterprise. "Every single person values the work they do because they know it matters."

Logistics Way Ahead in a Globally Distributed Environment

By Sharon Lo, Managing Editor, Defense Transportation Journal

Moderator MajGen John J. Broadmeadow, USMC, Vice Director for Logistics, J4, The Joint Staff with panelists:

* Maj. Gen. Giovanni K. Tuck, USAF, Director of Operations and Plans, US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM)

* BG Richard Dix, USA, Commanding General, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Distribution

* Brig. Gen. Mitchel H. Butikofer, USAF, Director, Command, Control, Communications and Cyber (C4) Systems, USTRANSCOM

* Tommy Ross, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Cooperation


* The Department of Defense (DOD) faces a difficult operational environment

* The Joint Staff and USTRANSCOM are developing strategies in order to remain ready to support the warfighter

* Total asset visibility is critical to the enterprise, but the technology that supports it remains vulnerable

* US strategy must incorporate building partner capacity


The US is facing a very challenging operational environment in the cyber domain; due to declining budget and resources; due to a growing anti-access, anti-denial environment that places a premium on the global commons; and because of the rise of pure competitors--both state and nonstate--who are challenging its military supremacy. In response to these challenges, the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations asks logisticians to be able to sustain complex distributed operations across numerous lines of communication, overcoming increasing logistics demand, constrained resources, increasingly complex logistics, and the proliferation of those who are going to be able to deny freedom of movement.

The Joint Concept for Logistics develops a vision of globally integrated logistics that looks across the joint logistics enterprise to include interagency, commercial and international partners. The concept calls for DOD to allocate and manage logistic support on a global scale, reconciling competing demands against declining resources, while maintaining a rapid and flexible transportation system, and a resilient information network.

USTRANSCOM is in the early development stages of its Global Agility Concept plan, designed to synchronize the global distribution enterprise across all combatant command areas of responsibility. With USTRANSCOM's plan, combatant commanders will have the authority and flexibility to position components during earlier stages of an operation. Together USTRANSCOM and its components, the Army Materiel Command and DLA provide the capability to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world at a moments notice. This allows combatant commands to operate day-to-day, as well as during contingencies.

Total asset visibility across the entire global distribution network is vital to the success of the enterprise. However, the technologies that enable it are susceptible to compromise by US adversaries. As a result of these vulnerabilities, the enterprise needs to rethink its posture on how it enables total asset visibility by examining defensive measures, having a robust and active defense, improving cyber collaboration, and having foolproof business continuity plans.

Over the past ten years, there has been a growing emphasis within the US national security strategy and DOD strategic guidance to work with and through partners to address critical national security threats. However, most of these partners do not have the ability to respond...

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