Industry’s critical role in force projection and sustainment to be discussed at the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting

Aug 15, 2019 | Press Releases

Release#: 20190815-001, Thursday, August 15, 2019

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Robert McMahon, will discuss industry’s significance in projecting and sustaining America’s forces during an emergency or a crisis at the National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command Fall Meeting, October 7 to 10, 2019, Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri.

As one of five keynote speakers, McMahon will discuss the private sector’s critical role providing augmented transportation capacity to support Department of Defense requirements.

“Clearly, DOD cannot accomplish its mission without partnering with commercial partners in the world of logistics and sustainment. They are absolutely essential to our success by ground, sea, and air,” stated McMahon. “Our success is reliant on that partnership.”

The collaboration’s foundation rests on the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement and Civil Reserve Air Fleet programs, which provide commercial ships and aircraft, respectively, to meet mission needs. For example, VISA involves the participation of all major U.S.-flag companies and offers access to more than 90 vessels, contributing over three million square feet of force-projection capacity and 143,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of sustainment capability. On the other hand, CRAF includes 25 safety-certified U.S. air carriers, providing long-range international airlift for approximately 40% of DOD air cargo and more than 90% of passenger transport.

In addition, the Maritime Security Program, managed by the U.S. Maritime Administration, consists of 60 military-useful, internationally-trading, U.S.-flags ships that employ more than 2,500 American-trained and –credentialed mariners.  MSP vessels are required to be enrolled in the VISA program. 

After completing a 34-year Air Force career, retiring as a major general in 2012, McMahon was the chief executive officer of the 21st Century Partnership, Warner Robins, Georgia, and then served as the Director of Field Operations and Site Lead for the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program.  He later served as president of Fickling Management Services, Macon, Georgia, from 2015 to 2017, leading a real estate company that maintained properties in eight states.

“I have a much greater appreciation of the private sector than I had when I wore the uniform. They are great Americans, just as dedicated and patriotic as those in uniform,” McMahon said. “The private sector has a different bottom line than the military – organizational performance, whereas DOD is focused on readiness and capability. The private sector, however, understands the importance of performance and they also understand their role in our (DOD’s) success.”

In his current position, McMahon works as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Defense for sustainment in the DOD.  As the principal logistics official within DOD senior management, he also provides oversight of logistics policies, practices, and efficiencies to enable readiness throughout the DOD, as well as manages more than $170 billion in logistics operations.

McMahon also oversees the DOD’s real property portfolio comprised of 28 million acres, over 500 installations, and more than 500,000 buildings and structures valued at $1 trillion. 

“NDTA plays a critical role in the military-industrial complex in logistics and sustainment. The Fall Meeting, co-sponsored with USTRANSCOM, presents a tremendous opportunity to talk about current issues, to celebrate our successes, and to also discuss future challenges,” stated McMahon.

Those interested in attending Mr. McMahon’s keynote address and other Fall Meeting activities can register at and they also have the option to “register now/pay later!” 

More information on the seventh annual, co-sponsored event can be found at #FallMeeting2019.

USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power. Powered by dedicated men and women, we underwrite the lethality of the joint force, advance American interests, and provide our nation’s leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options and create multiple dilemmas for adversaries.

Share This