DOD Official Discusses Sustaining Forces During Emergencies

Nov 19, 2019 | DTJ Online, Fall Meeting 2019 Videos

By Sharon Lo Managing Editor, Defense Transportation Journal and The Source

Lyons was not the only DOD senior leader to address the Fall Meeting audience. The Honorable Robert H. McMahon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, provided a keynote speech on the second day.

McMahon challenged the audience to think about the future—how will they think differently and how they will behave differently, as well as how they could help DOD think differently.

“We can only preserve peach if the enemy knows that we will prevail in war,” he asserted. The question then becomes how to prove we can prevail to the level necessary for deterrence.

DOD has relied largely on inputs for decision-making. They have added inputs together to drive toward a single solution. But, this model is no longer valid. What was done in the past is irrelevant in this era of great power competition.

Instead, he said, DOD needs to define what it wants to accomplish and work backward toward that goal. McMahon encouraged the audience to let their imaginations run wild on how to achieve these goals, not allowing past experiences to dictate future actions and innovations.

Regarding the future of transportation, McMahon said we must consider if we have the correct assets. Furthermore, we need to determine if those assets are resilient to threats, and if priorities and assets can be shifted.

Ideas once considered absurd, like having a small computer on your wrist, are common now. Thinking differently is what spurred those game-changing concepts and technologies then—and thinking differently is what will spur such innovations in the future as well.

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