NDTA 75th Anniversary
75th Anniversary Member Testimonials
Brig. Gen. Steven J. Bleymaier, USAF (Ret.)
As the former Director of Logistics, Engineering & Force Protection at Air Mobility Command, I witnessed firsthand the fact that NDTA is a voluntary organization of patriots who never fail to listen to and meet the needs of our military. The professionals of NDTA care about safety, effectiveness, and efficiency…and they care about getting the mission done that the military needs…when it needs it done; whether that’s moving troops in and out of theater, or moving equipment, supplies and parts to where the need is at the point of the spear. We couldn’t accomplish our mission without the partnership and capabilities provided by the members of NDTA. Furthermore, the NDTA annual meeting is one of the best I’ve seen. NDTA makes an effort to provide solid opportunities to educate attendees on all aspects of logistics through various sessions. From my perspective, NDTA makes a tremendous positive difference to mission accomplishment and professional development of logisticians and transporters for both our military and industry partners. Looking forward to the next 75!
Gen (Ret.) Duncan J. McNabb
The National Defense Transportation Association has been instrumental in championing our strategic transportation capabilities since World War II. When I was Commander of USTRANSCOM between 2008-2011, I absolutely depended on NDTA to help us build a true partnership between USTRANSCOM and its components, AMC, SDDC, & MSC, and our US Flag Air, Land, and Sea Carriers to support global operations and disaster relief, including operations into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. No surprise, our transportation enterprise performed magnificently. It indeed gives our Nation’s military one of its greatest asymmetric advantages…the strategic ability to move. There is no better relationship in all DoD between our military and industry…and thank you NDTA for helping make it so. NDTA also led to many wonderful life time friendships and some great, great fun. Huge congratulations on your 75th Anniversary. With Great Admiration, Gen(ret) Duncan J McNabb
CMSgt (Ret.) Matt Caruso
Former USTRANSCOM CSEL
The National Defense Transportation Association is truly global, adaptable and can relate to and engage with all companies big and small, all in the name of supporting and promoting our national interests and the safety, prosperity and security of transportation, logistics and mobility operations. The leaders at NDTA have the unique ability to bring us all together each year and collaborate on what the issues are and they facilitate exceptional conversations from across the globe, between defense networks and industry leaders during the year to make the Fall Meeting the preeminent event to attend. It’s an amazing organization and I am so happy to be part of and to contribute to its success. The Fall Meeting is always an incredible event to learn, grow professionally, foster growth of our companies and get after problem solving in our industry and with our defense partners. I am proud to be a life member of NDTA and the North Texas Chapter President and will do whatever I can to advance our cause together.
Lastly, as the former Command Senior Enlisted Leader of USTRANSCOM, I am eternally grateful that Admiral Brown and his team brought in the senior enlisted perspective to the 2018 NDTA/USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting agenda and I am very excited to see what this year’s session has to offer. This is a great opportunity for anyone in our business to come together and network, learn and better understand how defense logistics and transportation underpins everything we do out there. My teammates and I as well as my wife Becky look forward to attending this year’s Fall Meeting and seeing all of our friends from defense and industry.
The Honorable Alan Estevez
NDTA Financial Chairman
I’ve been a member of NDTA for over 35 years, and currently serve as the financial chairman, and is everything you could want and need in a professional association. NDTA provides the strongest link I have seen between Department of Defense and the critical logistics capability of the commercial sector, and it provides the leadership, intellectual rigor, and actions to develop logistics policies and capabilities needed to defend the nation.
Eric L. Mensing
CEO, American President Lines
NDTA plays an invaluable role as the glue that connects industry, government and military leaders in a way that cultivates meaningful relationships in order to generate ideas and solutions to move our industry forward. Being an active member of NDTA allows APL to foster timely dialogue about issues that impact defense transportation and logistics as they unfold. The NDT A annual events create opportunities to engage with the transportation and defense communities to discuss industry trends and emerging concepts, as well as the challenges we face on a national and global stage. NDTA facilitates the chance to work across the industry to problem-solve these challenges with those making key decisions and to be a part of the process.
APL has been a long-standing corporate member of NDTA since 1957 and we look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come. Congratulations on 75 years of contribution to the industry!
General Maryanne Miller
Commander, Air Mobility Command
Partnerships are indispensable to the success of our national defense network. As the Airman charged with leading our Mobility Air Forces, I highly value the role the National Defense Transportation Association plays in bringing together leaders and experts from across our nation’s Defense Transportation and Logistics Industry. With a shared sense of purpose, there is no challenge we can’t overcome together.
Air Mobility Command has consistently benefitted from collaborative relationships with our many industry partners—relationships which have percolated around the shared goals of NDTA members. A cornerstone to wartime airlift, we enjoy open communication with member companies of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. We have established fellowships for Airmen to share innovative ideas, fostered mutual learning, and sharpened the edge of fleet-wide command and control functions through touring operations facilities. We have worked together to tackle pilot shortage concerns and adopted many shared business practices that improve our entire aircraft fleet. AMC has benefitted time and again by the observations gleaned through our friends in industry. This synergy is invaluable.
Congratulations to the entire NDTA team and thank you for your 75 years of faithful service. You are all true patriots, and I value the quality you bring our nation’s defense network each and every day!
LTG (Ret) Ken Wykle
NDTA is the tie that binds government and industry together in the pursuit of common interest. This is achieved through relationships. Relationships are critical to success in most endeavors. Missions, goals, objectives and tasks get accomplished by people. It is difficult for one individual to be competent in all functional areas whether it is military tactics and strategy, or finance, marketing, business development, operations, or other areas. Knowing who to contact and having a personal relationship with that individual results in quicker actions and decisions.
Individuals develop competency in their functional area of expertise through education, experience, and self-development. Self-development includes professional reading, writing, speaking, and networking through membership in professional organizations like NDTA. Building and maintaining relationships with other professionals is as important to success as education and experience.
Companies often join NDTA to learn about doing business with the government and competing for government contracts. Once these companies are in the Association and participate in meetings, committees, and conferences they develop relationships with other executives resulting in “doing business” with the government and with each other. Membership in NDTA provides a pathway for teaming and working with other members competing for both commercial and government business.
It is satisfying to help a member find the “right” consultant for their business, to provide the government point of contact who can quickly answer their question, to expedite the approval of a request, or arrange a meeting with a senior government executive where the member may freely express their position on a pending rule or proposed action.
Two examples: An NDTA corporate member based in Europe was seeking a person familiar with the U.S. Government contracting process. They asked NDTA for assistance in finding a consultant. The company was connected with an NDTA individual member and quickly agreed on a business relationship. A second example is an individual who wanted to arrange a visit to Kwajalein Island, a restricted area in the Pacific Ocean. They were connected with an NDTA member who had a professional relationship with the person who had approval authority for the visit.
Each of these examples was the result of professional relationships. Success did not depend on specific functional knowledge or experience, but on relationships built over time as part of an extensive professional network. One should continually build and expand their web of relationships through membership in NDTA.
President and Chief Executive Officer Atlas Air Worldwide
The 75th Anniversary of the National Defense Transportation Association is an opportunity to recognize the vital role and evolving contribution the Association makes to our country and our security. This milestone underscores the success of the partnership that the Association has with the US Transportation Command and its component commands. Over the course of both OEF and OIF, I have had the opportunity to work with Association Leadership and Command to participate in developing the necessary concepts of operations and observe how the NDTA’s engagement has facilitated this exchange of ideas and practical perspective. I believe that NDTA and the work of its committees deliver valuable capability to our members and our military partners.
Deputy Division Chief, DOD Commercial Airlift Division
NDTA has demonstrated the importance of bringing all modes of transportation together in an environment where information sharing can take place as well as growth through learning and collaboration. The NDTA annual meetings, and meetings such as the GovTravels Symposium are opportunities that every commander should be encouraging their members to attend and become active in NDTA. In my short time involved with NDTA, I have met leaders of industry and had numerous opportunities to engage, learn and make a difference for not only my area of expertise but others as well. I applaud the efforts of NDTA in finding strength in the whole of government and industry across the spectrum of modes of transportation. Well Done!
Michael J. Cashner
Vice President, Government Services
Landstar Transportation Logistics Inc.
Being a member of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) is absolutely invaluable. I joined the Ft. Eustis, Virginia Chapter as an individual member in 1988, shortly after being commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and have been involved with NDTA ever since. As a young officer, being a chapter member helped me form bonds with peers and other service members to whom I would not have otherwise been introduced. It also exposed me to the vital military value of the commercial transportation industry. As a transportation battalion commander, and later as a policymaker at the Pentagon, I found the NDTA to be the best forum for bringing together government, military and private sector professionals to exchange ideas and tackle the DOD’s most challenging force projection and sustainment issues. Now, as a member of industry, the rewards of corporate sponsorship, participation on the Surface Committee, and attendance at national meetings have been innumerable. I encourage everyone to visit the Surface Committee page on the NDTA website to see a comprehensive list of our achievements and learn more about the great things we’re doing to support and improve defense transportation.
William R. Mansell Jr.
Director, Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO), Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA)
My association with NDTA is rather unique. I had limited interaction with the logistics/transportation community during my 27 years of service as an Army officer and no interaction during my first 10 years as a civil servant. Upon selection as the senior travel official for DoD, my association with the logistics/transportation community and accordingly, NDTA took off overnight. Over the next 2 1/2 years I have come to see the tremendous value that an organization like NDTA brings to both industry and the federal government. It clearly fulfills a vital and indispensable role in the increasingly critical relationship and interdependency between industry and the federal government from an operational and commercial travel perspective. It enables professional and personal relationships that build trust and result in evidence-based decision making. It promotes efficient and effective maritime operations. It ensures world class transportation and sustainment to the warfighter. In the relatively brief time I have been associated with NDTA, I have learned much about logistics/transportation and developed a great respect and admiration for its mission and membership. I will continue my association with this proud organization well beyond my tenure as DoD senior travel official.
The Honorable Mark Buzby
I have had a rather unique relationship with NDTA over the past 10 years, serving as a senior government liaison on the Board while on active duty as Commander Military Sealift Command; serving on the Board as President and CEO of NDTA after my retirement from the Navy; and then again as a senior government liaison on the Board when I rejoined government as US Maritime Administrator.
From these vantage points both inside government and as a member of industry, the absolute value of an organization like NDTA – and there is no other like it – has become crystal clear to me: NDTA builds trust. It is the line of communication that binds USTRANSCOM to its fourth “Component” – the civilian transportation industry. It fulfills a truly vital and indispensable role made even more important by the increasingly multi-modal nature of logistical movements. NDTA encompasses all modes of transportation and facilitates the kind of face to face, personal relationships that enable tough tasks to get done when the time comes because of trust that has already been established through those frequent interactions and developed relationships.
NDTA provides that place for trust to be established and applied in support of our shared mission of transporting and sustaining the warfighter anywhere on the globe. I’m proud to be a Life Member of such a mission-focused organization.
General Stephen Lyons
Commander, US Transportation Command
NDTA: An Essential Partner in Maintaining Joint Force Readiness
Since its establishment in 1944, the National Defense Transportation Association has supported the Department of Defense, cultivating trusted relationships between government and industry while maintaining a steady focus on national defense. Through these important commercial partnerships, United States Transportation Command provides our Nation with the ability to project military power in order to compete, deter, and—if necessary—respond to win decisively against those that threaten our collective values of liberty and prosperity. Today, at the direction of the President of the United States and augmented by commercial capacity, networks, and expertise, USTRANSCOM provides the United States with the ability to project and sustain combat power globally, delivering multiple options for our national leadership and multiple dilemmas for our adversaries. This is our North Star.
NDTA remains a steadfast partner, unwavering in its support of USTRANSCOM, as we accomplish our mission for national defense. We have worked together on important issues like strengthening cyber resiliency, increasing national sealift capacity, and addressing pilot, mariner, and trucking shortages. The trusted environment and enriched relationships fostered by NDTA have enabled us to address pressing challenges, and as a result our nation is stronger. Congratulations on 75 years of service to the nation. United States Transportation Command looks forward to many more years of successful partnership.
VADM (Ret) Mark Harnitchek
Happy 75th Birthday. As I reflect on my long association with this organization of great Americans, one word comes to mind: TRUST. Throughout my time at USTRANSCOM and DLA, I absolutely trusted NDTA to solve tough, often seemingly impossible, national security issues involving logistics, and I was never disappointed. Whether deploying troop surges into Iraq or Afghanistan, developing the Northern Distribution Network, moving Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, by the thousands, into Afghanistan, or supporting humanitarian relief efforts all over the world, NDTA simply said: “We can”, “We will,” and then succeeded. No problem was too hard and no obstacle was insurmountable. With little fanfare, the quiet professionals of NDTA simply figured out the solution. They never failed to keep a promise. Thank you NDTA for all you do for our great nation—you are a national treasure.
Brig Gen Darren James
Director of Ops, Strat Deter and Nuclear Integration
Let me begin by congratulating the National Defense Transportation Association on reaching an impressive milestone in celebrating its 75th year as an association. I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous collaboration among the government and private sector afforded by NDTA in my previous capacity as the Eighteenth Air Force Vice Commander, and now as the Air Mobility Command Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration. Put simply, the NDTA is vital to building essential partnerships between the Department of Defense and industry!
NDTA serves as an essential platform where all modes of industry and government come together annually to learn, grow, and share information in a close partnership. NDTA plays a critical role in fostering relations between the DoD and the General Services Administration City Pair Program. This vital program permits the DoD to balance organic and commercial capabilities, leading to more than 25 Commercial Air Carriers supporting National Defense with over 400 aircraft on call, ready to provide global rapid mobility through the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. The DoD relies heavily on this crucial capacity. Additionally, through committees such as the NDTA Mobility Aviation Advisory Committee, leaders from across the spectrum of aviation come together to share best practices, seeking to improve service and the safety of our carriers and DoD travelers. I have no doubt that the NDTA will continue to strengthen the transportation enterprise for many years to come!
Eric P. Ebeling
American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC)
NDTA is indispensable. As an educational non-profit that does not engage in lobbying, it is a neutral and trusted agent for all Americans concerned with our nation’s ability to project power and sustain readiness. I have been privileged to be a member of NDTA since I entered the U.S.-flag maritime industry in 2003. During that time, American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier and other U.S.-flag carriers enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) have worked hand-in-hand with TRANSCOM leaders from Gen (Ret) John Handy, the longest-serving TRANSCOM commander, to the present day under GEN Steve Lyons, the first Army CG, on such complex issues as the massive OIF deployment, the push to get life-saving Up-Armored HMMWVs and MRAPs/M-ATVs to theater, the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, the closure of the PAK GLOC and foundation of the NDN, the pioneering of sea-air multimodal options, and Atlantic Resolve exercises and rotations in Europe.
As NDTA celebrates its 75th anniversary, I’d point out that NDTA has been fortunate to have its share of exceptional leaders, with recent Chairmen such as Ray Ebeling, Bill Flynn and John Dietrich and Presidents such as Ken Wykle, Buz Buzby and Andy Brown. However, there is no guarantee or entitlement for NDTA to enjoy such outstanding leadership, and I would urge the entire membership to stay involved, volunteer where you can in whatever capacity you can, and seek out new members and new leaders from within your organizations as well as externally. It is only through such volunteerism and engagement that NDTA will be able to support the deployment, distribution, sustainment and readiness of this great nation for another 75 years.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Atlas Air Worldwide President and Chief Operating Officer Atlas Air Inc.
Atlas Air Worldwide is proud to be a long-standing Chairman’s Circle Plus Member of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA.) I was personally humbled and honored to be elected as Chairman of NDTA in 2017. As part of my role as Chairman, I am committed to continuing to foster the trusted environment and educational goals that will help further strengthen the strong relationship between industry and our government partners. I have been amazed by the patriotism and commitment of all our industry, government and military personnel who volunteer so much of their time and resources for the common interest of supporting and protecting our nation and our warfighters. NDTA’s commitment to remaining a non-political and educationally-focused enterprise to serve the national security interests will continue to be at the forefront of our mission. I congratulate NDTA on its first 75 years and look forward to the exciting opportunities in the years to come.
The Next 75 Years – Member Perspectives
Senior Consultant, Maintenance, Distribution and Operational Logistics Group, LMI
The advances that future NDTA members might help usher in to the Defense Transportation System will allow American to help maintain a degree of capability overmatch and a deterrent effect on future near-peer adversaries. I believe that we are at an inflection point in our dominant history of military force projection capability and capacity. Adversaries have been strategizing, developing and fielding their own anti-access/area-denial and global reach capabilities. They seek to exploit our process vulnerabilities, disrupt force deployments early-on and continuously compress our rapid response timelines. We may be training the next greatest generation of transportation professionals who will transform our current, methodical and predictable Joint deployment process into a strategic maneuver process – rapidly delivering in-tact, Joint combined arms maneuver formations conducting contested, cross-domain operations en route, and arriving in immediately employable configuration in accordance with combatant commanders’ scheme of maneuver. NDTA members form the catalyst for the legal, policy and cultural changes required to realize scalable, combat loaded strategic maneuver capability where, as an example, Army formations can fight their way to the fight(s) and dynamically reconfigure en route as necessary depending on operational risks anticipated at chokepoints along the way, providing cross-domain kinetic and non-kinetic effects while maneuvering through the strategic support area and into theaters of operations. We will evolve from breaking combat power into its components, shipping the components separately through benign operating environments and embarking on a lengthy, target-rich reception, staging, onward movement and integration process to rebuild and employ combat power in theater. In the next 75 years, NDTA members will create, operate, and optimize out-of-this-world supply chains as space-based resources are increasingly tapped as enablers for military operations. We will help transition Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multinational and Commercial force projection operations from largely human-in-the-loop, carbon-fuel-driven and strategically predictable endeavors, to artificial intelligence-enabled, multi-power sourced and multi-domain resilient operations. Our members will boldly and audaciously lead and inspire the change needed to create and maintain windows of force projection overmatch to underpin our near-, mid- and far-term national security interests against increasingly astute and dynamic adversaries.
MG Fred E. Elam, USA (Ret)
The purpose of this thought paper is to present some thoughts for discussion as we support our Nation’s strategic objectives over the next 25 years. The hope is to spur discussion within the Transportation community.
There appear to be several imperatives that cannot be ignored by Military and Civilian transport leaders as we prepare for the next 25 years. They are:
The military and civilian transportation organizations are currently experiencing increased competition for service members and civilian employees from such -non – traditional entities as Amazon and Walmart. What policies, educational benefits and job descriptions must be put in place to create and maintain a viable world class transportation workforce?
The Global Freight Management System, The Transportation Coordinator’s Automation System and other automation systems must be protected for increasing Cyber threats. Accomplishing this objective will require an almost unprecedented degree of coordination among all DOD and civilian stakeholders.
Automation of increasing numbers of transportation and distribution functions will displace many current transportation workers, while opening up new opportunities for others. Autonomous vehicles as well as drones offer but two examples of the management and leadership challenges going forward for the next 25 years.
All transportation planning for the future must take into the account of non-state actors who will increasing play a major role in threating international transportation functions and activities.
Maj. Gen. Fred E. Elam, USA Ret, served over 33 years and commanded at all levels, including as the Chief of Transportation and the first commander of the Transportation Corps Regiment. He had two combat tours in Vietnam. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and the Navel War College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from Michigan State University.
Former Deputy to the Commander MTMC/SDDC
Congratulations to NDTA on 75 years as an invaluable linchpin between Defense and Industry in facilitating improvements and emergency programs to help meet our Nation’s challenges in deploying, sustaining and redeploying our forces and combat power in peace and war. I use the word “linchpin” because I think there is a significant distinction between NDTA and how people might characterize many trade associations. NDTA creates a framework through its educational, operational, national, international and regional activities that brings together industry and defense at all levels in a collaborative process to improve defense transportation in peace and more critically to meet the challenges of “no notice” deployments and sustained conflicts in multiple trouble spots around the world. The interpersonal relationships it fosters meant that we on the defense side knew we could count on our industry partners to fire up their transportation networks and divert assets based on trusting our word that the need was real and immediate. I was giving a presentation to a government/manufacturing industry symposium during the second gulf war. At lunch I sat with a group of industry reps who were amazed to hear the relationship we had with industry through NDTA. Their reaction was they wished for that kind of interaction, but felt government always kept them at arm’s length.
My hope for NDTA in the next 75 years is that NDTA never loses focus on the unique force multiplier it can be. For sure the future will be challenging. The trend today seems to favor electronic means of communication over people to people interaction. That can produce many benefits in reaching wide audiences in multiple locations simultaneously. But it also presents a challenge to maintaining or growing membership in many civic, social and industry associations. Rely on the A-35’ers to suggest new applications of communication technologies to keep their contemporaries interested and plugged in. Similarly, unless something happens to shift the pendulum, it’s likely government travel and training opportunities will continue to be squeezed. NDTA’s response to that so far has been proactive in reworking the forums into things like the Fall Meeting at a location that affords greater government participation. I also hope keeping the Functional Committees remains a top priority. The dynamics of being able to openly debate issues and work to find positive, practical solutions is what makes NDTA so valuable (and I would hope makes it easier for industry reps to justify to their companies the value of their investment in NDTA).
I had an opportunity to talk to the DC NDTA Chapter luncheon after 9/11. I told the defense and industry attendees that I had every confidence in the patriotism of the Defense Transportation Industry to meet the challenge we were about to hand them, and they did so without hesitation and magnificently. I feel no less confident they and NDTA will always respond as quickly and forcefully in the future.
I was commanding a truck battalion in Germany in November of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, and the end of the Cold War came in sight. In 1991 the Soviet Union followed the Wall into oblivion, and the political scientist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed, “The End of History.” History did not end and neither did the requirement for the United States‘ involvement in world affairs, including the necessity of military operations. The logistical support of rapid deployments to far flung corners of the world requires the cooperation of military and industry, which NDTA facilitates. As a previous Commander, US Transportation Command presciently said, “If NDTA did not exist, we‘d have to invent it.”
Let us remember, also, that NDTA is an educational association, educating the military and industry concerning each other‘s requirements and capabilities in its committee system, bringing its members up to date on current logistics issues in its conferences, and providing scholarships at chapter and national levels for the next generation of logisticians to learn their profession.
I predict NDTA will celebrate its centennial as a key member of the military and industry‘s winning logistical team and as a premiere educational facilitator of the National Defense Logistics Community.
Where is the NDTA going at the chapter level? Are we and can we be a viable organization? What does it take to keep it going or even start or restart? I ask those questions of myself and of my board of directors as well as my consultants regularly to make sure I‘m tracking with what the membership wants. Is there a paradigm shift that we must embrace? Can I persuade potential new members why NDTA is advantageous to them? We spoke of some this at the President‘s meeting at the recent NDTA–TRANSCOM Forum in St Louis. Getting our Corporate members supporting at the national level and have them highly encouraging their personnel at the chapter level to get involved and support their local chapter.
In this global competitive environment, it is important both as individuals and as an organization, that we constantly seek ways to set new goals and objectives in order to improve ourselves and our organization. We cannot afford to not take advantage of new opportunities. One way to maintain and enhance our skills and knowledge is to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the numerous professional development opportunities available. Convincing individuals that our professional development programs will enhance their current and future “kit bag” of connections, personal and professional development must be in the forefront as We developed programs of interest. My belief is the best way to get more members is by providing professional education and then talking with those who have an interest, expand the benefits discussion from relationships, mentoring, community involvement and personal development.
Even the Air Force recognizes this in The Secretary of the Air Force‘s and Chief of Staff memorandum dated 23 Feb 2016, Subject: Interaction with Military Associations. “All personnel may enjoy a variety of benefits through their interaction with various military associations and other professional groups. In both the profession of arms and numerous occupational professions, these organizations support, promote, and develop the interest of our Services, as well as military professionalism....
Through the years, military associations have provided numerous forums that foster military professionalism and development. The events are among the tools available to help you develop your people. At both the national and local chapter levels, these organizations also offer a wide variety of services to assist our military members and their families. In addition, these groups work to increase awareness of our mission with the American public and foster strong and mutually beneficial relationships among government, industry and civic leaders.”
“Military associations represent an important dimension of our country’s strong interest in national defense. Please support involvement with military associations by your personnel in a manner consistent with Department of Defense and Air Force policies.”
As we’ve evolved with our Forums into more educational as well as the forward thinking in getting speakers who provide professional discussions, briefings and roundtables, we’re making great strides in a positive direction. But is that enough? Will the chapter survive and stay viable? I believe it can, but only as a professional educational organization that brings in speakers, conducts tours, etc., that expands the potential membership’s logistics framework. There is a paradigm shift in potential new members joining—they are not joiner until they see retirement looming and now need to beef up their resume, post their resume on the HQ NDTA web site or want to know all the corporate members who they may be able to create a possible relationship with. We must find a way a get them earlier and “in our grasp” and then “hook them” to want to stay and hopefully participate in a greater way instead of leaving the chapter with just a few key players doing all the work.
In Anchorage, Alaska we have the advantage of 3 Air Force Wings, an Army Headquarters with nearly 2 Brigades, full–time Alaska Army National Guard HQ, US Coast Guard Sector of the 17th USCG District, Defense Logistics Agency, Department of Homeland Security, universities and high schools who concentrate on logistics and the main hub of commercial logistics activities for the entire State of Alaska. Capturing or creating a list of possible briefings and tours and then engaging with your board and consultants ensures you’re on the right track and meeting the member’s needs. Being open to new commercial partners and ready to make a pitch to be involved is necessary and at any venue you may be participating at. Each chapter’s area has portions of this and if they’re lucky, most. Even with all of that, it takes a least one but preferably 2-4 individuals who work closely together getting the right venues, getting and maintaining senior leadership support and inviting personnel to see something potential interesting outside of their daily work. Many of our chapters are aging and you need younger members and “new blood” to get involved. Having monthly, bi monthly or even quarterly meetings may meet your chapter’s basic needs and I encourage the push that is the most effective for you. We have found doing anything in the summer months is not usually supportable, but if something comes up, we try to get “passing through” senior leaders for a briefing or working lunch. We may also need to look at changing the life membership limitations and be more creative in the financing of membership for potential life members at an earlier age. Further, sometimes, just getting the national corporate members creating an atmosphere of encouraging support to the local chapters, is all you need. This push has to be initially done by the NDTA headquarters and then the chapters engage those organizations who are local but don’t participate. Locally, it takes a lot of communicating and not being disappointed when briefings or tours have less participation than you would have desired. Remember everyone is busy but having targeted briefings and tours that don’t take too much time is absolutely needed. Finding the right day of the week or month that will maximize participation is another key factor.
Having started and restarted now 4 chapters, I have a unique blend of experience, leadership, enthusiasm and drive. I believe everyone wants to learn more about logistics, since that is the glue to every successful organization in my opinion. No matter what professional, organization or trade you are in, logistics plays a key part. As a government employee for the Defense Logistics Agency, a retired USAF officer with over 27 year’s active duty and 4+ years of commercial air freight experience, I know what might be interesting, I am connected to so many people and organizations, and I’m not afraid to put my neck out and ask. Communicating is the key and having board members from commercial industry and senior military consultants, keeps the vectoring in a realistic and positive direction. What also works well is I am not in anyone’s chain of command and therefore not a threat to anyone.
But that’s not totally what works in Alaska. With the help of some other enthusiastic logisticians reinvigorating the Logistics Officers Association local chapter, Northern Lights, we work closely together providing a broader awareness to all logisticians. While I would like every potential member to be officially in the NDTA, I am not as concerned whether someone joins NDTA as I am of providing professional briefings and/or tours of logistics in action. I need to get them in the door first, then work on becoming a member. My LOA counterparts have been able to get several General Officers to speak which the NDTA also participates and now I have new members looking out for similar opportunities and willing to set up working lunches. We plan various venues, developed mutual calendars, and support each other and I am on their Board of Directors as a consultant. For our commercial members, I get them to sponsor a briefing and or tour of their facilities which has gone over very well with the visits to the Port of Anchorage, Carlile Trucking, Lynden Inc. and FEDEX in the past year.
NDTA fosters a unique brand of partnership between private and public enterprise–one found nowhere else in the global transportation, distribution, and government travel industry. We must emphasize and stress those relationships. Our members contribute expertise, experience and resources to enable swift and sure delivery of supplies and services to military forces and government travelers worldwide. They team up with the Department of Defense and other agencies to target the challenges, leverage technology and ensure world–class mission support to the task at hand. Engagement and participation is needed. Showing the value of NDTA membership from networking, personal development, professional education, community involvement and mentoring by building relationships, broadening your network, sharing your knowledge, and staying current on industry trends are part of the value. An area of personal future expansion for me are the local universities and high school logistics programs. I‘ve spoken to some in the past but need to reengage.
Knowledge and competence in business are vital to success, but with that also comes the people who can help you along the way; help you learn, develop relationships, and build on your successes—engage yourself. Be open and ready when this may occur. Get involved! This engagement will help you meet people, make friends, find mentors, and facilitate future possibilities. Participation in NDTA provides an excellent opportunity to meet those with similar interests, exchange ideas, and expand your horizons. Too often we get caught up in day-to-day aspects of our jobs and forget that increasing our knowledge and developing leadership and management skills takes time and effort. I am giving back to the young and more experienced logisticians any way I can without really asking for anything in return. Professional development is something we owe ourselves, our peers and subordinates. Often a byproduct is helping others. NDTA can challenge you to make a difference, I have taken the first step, are you ready to take yours?
Robert Sherrill has 39 years of worldwide logistics experience as an Air Force officer, DOD civilian and commercial air freight salesman. He has a BA in Business from Washington State University and a MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He is currently the NDTA Anchorage North Pole Chapter President and Northwest Regional President as well as an employee of the Defense Logistics Agency who loves his job as the Warfighter Support Representative for Alaska.
Chairman and CEO Benchmarking Partners, Inc.
In my role as Chair of the Cybersecurity Best Practices Committee, NDTA asked for my best shot at predicting the role of defense supply chains and our association’s role 25 years from now at our 100th anniversary. I turned to my younger generation colleagues, Chiderah Okoye and Tom Fellows who actively support the committee. Together, we’re dedicated to NDTA’s mission and care about the organization’s future, but none of us are forecasters. We also know that anyone’s predictions will be off the mark given the broad time frame and topic. Despite those caveats, we would bet on four points looking back from 2044. Right or wrong, we hope the four points will provoke useful discussions along the way. — Ted Rybeck, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Redefining the Industrial Revolution. Customers in 2044 will still want the right products & services, at the right time, in the right place, in the right condition & quantity, and at the right total expense. What will change is the physical and cyber environment surrounding those needs. Our 2019 networks will seem painfully disconnected by comparison to 2044, and the next 25 years will change everything again and again through network collaboration. We can describe those changes as a fourth industrial revolution and beyond. In this perspective, steam engines drove the 1st industrial revolution, electricity drove the 2nd, computers drove the 3rd, and intelligent networks will drive a 4th. Connected global assets already disrupt today’s supply chain market leaders and military powers at a staggering pace. Those disruptions will intensify as the connections accelerate here on earth and increasingly in space. Free market economist, Joseph Schumpeter, referred to these disruptions as creative destruction. Applied effectively, the long run societal progress of those disruptions will be positive for the natural environment, individual employment, health & well-being, wealth distribution, and global cooperation.
- Holding it together through creative destruction. Long run aside, plenty will get worse until safeguards come into place. High-tech exploitations will proliferate in new ways every day through connected global resources, big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the anonymity of distributed transaction ledgers, smart contracts, and autonomous vehicles. Earlier industrial revolutions were plagued by mass production without the necessary protections for safety, standards, compensation, and the environment. The absence of cyber protections and responses in the fourth industrial revolution will spawn new misuses and weaponization of networked intelligence. Consequently, at all levels, resource-constrained organizations and governments will face existential threats. In particular, individual and state-sponsored bad actors will leverage networks to spread infrastructure attacks and shutdowns with unprecedented efficiency and effectiveness. Likewise, tightly coupled networks make for winner-take-all systems that will overcome organizations and nations that fail to cope or compete.
- Upskilling as a national priority for cybersecure growth. To reduce the negative fallout from the fourth industrial revolution, NDTA will be part of the mobilization to make adult upskilling a national and international priority for cybersecure growth. The U.S. will support applied learning and teaching that enables each of us to benefit more from artificial intelligence which augments our own intelligence. At the same time, we’ll evolve the protections and responses to better prepare and defend the U.S. and our allies. As we extend our sophistication of defense logistics, our moral and intellectual shortcomings as humans will become that much more apparent. However, we will discover how networks can help each of us more fully engage the power of our brains and our nature which will always possess capabilities that outpace the most powerful supercomputers. Those looking back from 2044 will be struck by how little of each person’s creative potential was understood, appreciated, and engaged back in 2019.
- NDTA’s roots coming out of World War II will still be our strength. With our educational mission, NDTA in 2044 will be at the forefront of another new era in defense logistics. As the U.S. strives to become a more perfect union, our nation and our allies will increasingly depend on NDTA’s understanding to support our unique reliance on public-private collaboration in the defense supply chain. While names and terminology will certainly be different from 2019, one constant will make our organization more vital than ever in 2044: our ongoing commitment to looking ahead and incorporating the lessons we’ve experienced every year since 1944.
LTG (Ret.) Robert T. Dail
NDTA’s distinguished 75-year history is one centered on the enormously strong relationship between Government and Industry that produced DOD’s unmatched strategic and operational responsiveness, reach, and sustained operations anywhere in the world. This NDTA-sponsored relationship proved remarkably important and successful. Its tremendous advocacy is embodied in USTRANSCOM; created over 30 years ago to operationally synchronize America’s commercial and DOD transportation capability. In more recent years, NDTA has welcomed the participation of Defense Logistics Agency and the various military services in this partnership. Subsequently, NDTA has vigorously advocated for the resulting vast logistics network comprised of DOD and industry members that dominates the logistics domain for America and its Allies.
The next 75 years will see America continually called upon to engage and, when required, act with our Allies to secure freedom and national interests.
NDTA will be there to sustain and grow the relationships between industry and government members of this enterprise. It will lead and advocate in the face of major challenges that the Department of Defense, our Allies, and their Industry partners confront now and well into the future: the threat of attack on our information networks by adversaries; and the dramatic transformations of industry and government supply chains.
Adversaries now attack our information systems and networks largely comprised of commercial industry partners. The threat of lost communications, false information and other cyber interdiction pose enormous consequences for DOD. Further, Globalization has given way to local influence in the form of trade and tariff policy, regional regulation, data privacy laws, e-commerce giants, lightning quick changes in technology like Artificial Intelligence, unmanned systems, local printing, and more expensive labor markets. As a result, Supply Chains are becoming shorter, smarter, and faster as the threat from cyber attack increases. DOD industry partners will operate in this dynamic environment and will need advocacy from NDTA and assistance from the US Government to insure that America can continue to adapt and support the greatest military in a dangerous and uncertain world.
More than ever, NDTA will serve the Nation and its members as Champion and Thought Leader of a strong and trusted DOD-Industry partnership. NDTA Forums and meetings will serve as a nexus of ideas and strong relationships. It will advocate for transportation and logistics capabilities, policies, and programs that will insure our troops continue to precisely receive the very best materiel and services they require anywhere on planet earth. That focus will always be central for NDTA.
(I am proud to be a lifetime member of NDTA and have enjoyed the many rewarding and trusted friendships and association of great American military and civilian patriots who comprise its membership).
Francis O. McDermott
Crystal ball gazing is not the function of a legal mind, but recognition of what is transpiring in the world provides a brief glimpse into the possible structure of what the future holds for NDTA and the world.
With the space race and the development of international groups and businesses, it is not difficult to see multinational developments in government, military and countries. The western hemisphere will intertwine for growth and protection with treaties, NATO and the United Nations strengthening present day alliances to sustain a peaceful world. Interstellar development will bring nations closer together in space exploration and development with possible colonization.
This will impact on the structure of present day associations such as NDTA. For expansion and success, NDTA will extend its operations globally to encompass the expansion by military and co-government sectors and thus establish a greater international operation with expansion of overseas chapters doubling or even tripling present day numbers. Individual membership will expand with military growth and return to prior emphasis by the military to interface with industry and government for efficient and cooperative endeavors. Hence, future development will have NDTA become the International Defense Association incorporating many existing fellow associations to be part of the future world.
Director, FedEx Government Services
In 1971, I learned about Over, Under, Around and Through from Grover on the TV show Sesame Street. My predictions for NDTA and transportation are based upon these four prepositions.
Over: The ability to travel over our heads will exist be it in low, medium, and high altitude or space. Roads will exist though the ability to hover, jet propel, and rocket launch will be the norm.
Under: Gridlock and congestion in our rail and road network necessitate the development of underground tracks, trails, and tunnels. Elevators will lower a vehicle deep into the lithosphere highway system. Ships submerge to sail under the water.
Around: Maintenance, supply, and transportation specialists will get around the requirement to send or receive everything via the five modes of transportation as adaptive, alternative, geo, and nano manufacturing and technology reduces but does not eliminate the physical movement of items.
Through: The U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and the transportation industry partnership will exist through NDTA. The names of the Subcommittees, Councils, Members, and Companies as well as the Geographic and Combatant Commands and Agencies may change yet NDTA remains the trusted environment where we solve challenges and educate each other in the fields of logistics, transportation, and passenger travel services.
NDTA 75th Anniversary Sponsors
A special thank-you to the many organizations and individuals that contributed to making this celebration a success. Donations shown are given in the name of the following:
Diamond Anniversary Benefactor ($1,000 and Up)
Agility Defense & Government Services
American Maritime Congress
American Maritime Officers
American President Lines, LLC
American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier, LLC
Atlas Air Worldwide
Baggett Transportation Company
Bennett Motor Express, LLC
Bristol Associates Inc.
The women and men of Hapag-Lloyd USA
Keystone Shipping Co.
Landstar System, Inc.
Liberty Global Logistics
Maersk Line, Limited
The Airlines of the National Air Carrier Association (NACA)
National Air Cargo
Omega World Travel
Omni Air International
The Pasha Group
Roadmaster Group and its Divisions (Tri-State, AATCO & Roadmaster Specialized Inc.)
Seafarers Int’l Union of NA, AGLIW
Platinum Benefactor ($500-$999)
Anacostia Rail Holdings
The Brown Family
Crane Worldwide Logistics
Denny & Karen Edwards
William J. Kenwell
Mercer Transportation Co., Inc.
Port of Beaumont
Jeffrey & Maria Satterfield
Schuyler Line Navigation Company, LLC
US Ocean LLC
Gold Benefactor ($200-$499)
AFP Global Logistics
Army Transportation Museum Foundation
Council for Logistics Research
LTG Edward Honor & COL Norbert Grabowski
Frank & Estella McDermott
NDTA Southwest Regional President
Norfolk Southern Corp.
Robert J. Sherrill & North Pole Chapter of NDTA
Merrill Taylor and Associates
Anniversary Supporter ($50-$199)
Col (Ret.) Wanda E. Bisbal
Alan Estevez & Susan Pearson
Terry R. Head
BG (Ret.) Paul C. Hurley
LTG Ed Honor
Jonathan D. Kaskin
COL (Ret.) Gene Losa
VADM J. D. McCarthy, SC, USN (Ret.)
CMSgt Troy Saunders
T & T Solutions
Robert W. Tanner Jr., CQA
Carl & Fe Wlotzko
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