Global Force Projection: Evolving Port and Surface Deployment Requirements
Speaker: MG Heidi J. Hoyle, USA
“SDDC [Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command] exists to deploy, move and sustain the armed forces. To deliver readiness to the point of need at the right point at the right place every time—that is our purpose,” explained MG Heidi Hoyle, SDDC’s Commanding General. “And, as we execute this purpose as a member of the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise [JDDE], we are committed to integrating, synchronizing, and providing global deployment and distribution capabilities to deliver and sustain the joint forces in support of our nation’s objectives.
“As Transcom’s [US Transportation Command] US Army service component command and a major subordinate command to the Army Materiel Command [AMC], we are the global intermodal surface connectors integrating the JDDE and Army Materiel Command’s Materiel Enterprise at echelon. We connect the surface requirements through the distribution network nodes to the point of need to responsibly project power and to deliver the desired results in support of combatant commands and the total joint force.”
Hoyle’s comments on SDDC were made as part of her keynote address during the Surface Force Projection Conference (SFPC). The conference was co-hosted by NDTA and Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CNU CAS), in cooperation with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC).
Taking place May 17-19, 2022, on the CNU campus, the conference brought together US government and industry logistics and transportation experts, and members of the Joint Logistics Enterprise (JLE), to examine a wide range of challenges associated with operating in and through the contested environment to provide U.S. capability at the point of need.
“While the scope of global movements change little, the scale at which DOD [Department of Defense] and our commercial partners have increased significantly. This increasing scale, as well as the need for the pinpoint accuracy to enable the warfighter to the point of need is more reliant on connected networks,” said Hoyle.
“The point-to-point mindset must be replaced with the idea that it is a network connected supporting movements. This connected mindset allows all partners to better realize the full level of support needed to enable operations in any theater for any operation.
“SDDC, with our 5,200 geographically dispersed Surface Warriors works with this mindset as the connective tissue to US Transportation Command between the 3PLs to ensure support for every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, Coastguardsman, and, now, Guardians, regardless of their location.”
Hoyle explained that while military transportation has adapted and evolved over time, and the scope and scale can change, the military’s need for support from its civilian counterparts remains consistent. She added that “As we face an increasingly complex security environment, we must look to strengthen the relationships and continue to grow together.”
“As the rapid technological changes present new challenges from adversaries in every operating domain, they comparatively affect current force readiness. In the complex strategic environment, we must prioritize how we can support global surface deployment to a rapidly adapting joint force, while continuing to secure our assets and our networks.”
SDDC is in a transition period as the newly released National Defense Strategy (NDS) causes changes in many facets of operations. “One area highlighted in the National Defense Strategy is the limited investment in logistics readiness of past years. A significant change noted that logistics is going to be a combat multiplier going forward in the future,” said Hoyle.
“The physical situation that exists with how we have to execute that strategy is going to have a huge impact on our ability to move cargo in rapid and accurate manners and conduct that advancement towards the future needs of our services,” said Hoyle.
She noted that the SDDC also faced challenges related to changes to updated environmental policies which she felt would impact how effectively the command could do business to support the warfighter. Partnership will be key to overcoming these challenges and allowing the command to remain resilient and agile in support of the warfighter while providing the integrated and synchronized global distribution and deployment capabilities to the point of need.
Even during a transitional time, SDDC remains responsible for the planning, synchronization, and integration of end-to-end movements, ensuring successful deployments and redeployments. This includes coordinating adequate lift via rail, truck, and vessel.
For more from MG Hoyle, including where we look next, view the full speech above.