NDTA’s Accomplishments and Goals

Dec 16, 2019 | From HQ

By VADM William A. Brown, USN (Ret.), President & CEO, NDTA 

In 2018, the NDTA Board of Directors approved our goals and objectives for 2019. I thought a little review was in order. I continue to be optimistic about NDTA and our mission to educate, work issues and bring government and Industry together for the purposes of building a strong national defense capability. I very much appreciate the co-sponsorship of the Fall Meeting, GovTravels, and Ports Conference by USTRANSCOM, DTMO, and Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies. The Transportation and Travel Academies have proven to be effective in attracting folks interested in education and professional development.

Financial Report
Over the past couple of years, NDTA has recovered to normalized fiscal operations following the period of sequestration and the freeze on conferences. That period hurt NDTA and required reliance on our investments to maintain a positive cash flow for years to follow. Today, we can report we will enter 2020 without having to transfer funds from investments. We will continue to turn over every stone to remove costs and expenses. And, you can be sure we will carefully manage all our investments and direct our resources towards our priorities.

Accomplishments for 2019
Our theme for 2019 was “Focus on the Issues.” Over the past year, we sought to become a stronger thought leader in defense joint logistics by sharing industry and government perspectives on logistics and transportation—something we will definitely sustain into the future! Some examples:

  • Participated in the Joint Staff’s, Joint Concept for Logistics efforts – As the Joint Staff designs a new Joint Concept for Logistics for 2035 the Joint Staff Logistics Directorate (JS J4) wanted to ensure they were capturing commercial industry perspective and asked NDTA to attend unclassified planning sessions in July and August. NDTA assisted with the JS J4 review of the proposed concept requirement capabilities needed to help the warfighter obtain resilient LOG C2; set the Globe; and achieve flexible, agile and distributed logistics.
  • Re-established the Ports Sub-committee – Providing NDTA and USTRANSCOM with the leadership needed to focus on the important issues surrounding CONUS and OCONUS ports, labor and infrastructure.
  • Held first Ports Conference with Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CAS) – NDTA along with the NDTA Surface Committee and Ports Sub-Committee have teamed with USTRANSCOM’s Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), the Association of American Port Authorities (AAPA), and the logistics and transportation industry, along with academia, to find creative and innovative ways to improve deployment readiness, solve challenges and improve US ability and capability to respond and operate in a global, multi-domain, and contested environments. The focus in 2019 was the CONUS strategic seaports and in 2020 we will expand our focus to include European ports.
  • Participated in numerous engagements at the Eisenhower School – The focus is always on education and these engagements help senior-level military students understand the importance of logistics and transportation.
  • Held numerous committee meetings bringing together government and industry to aggressively work issues – In September we established three new Europe and Africa focused committees, including Sealift/Ports, Air, and Inland Distribution in an effort to work logistics and transportation issues important to EUCOM, AFRICOM, and NATO.
  • Improved communication and educational content availability by taking the DTJ to the next level by increasing information being shared and making content more searchable. To illustrate the value, recently a Naval War College student’s research led him to contact NDTA headquarters to connect with FEMA on a paper being written regarding domestics crisis response packages afloat on US-flag shipping. Opening the door to NDTA content is critical to solving national logistics and transportation challenges.
  • Advanced our efforts to support government passenger travel by successfully growing our GovTravels Meeting co-sponsored by DTMO under the leadership of Mr. Bill Mansell – We continued to refine the Government Passenger Advisory Council and Committee, bringing together government and industry to identify and work issues. We also expanded our educational content with the identification of “Travel Academy” as part of the effort.
  • Continued our successful USTRANSCOM cosponsored Fall Meeting, by growing and improving our Transportation Academy – This year the Academy held 80 sessions across 10 tracks with very positive results.
  • Executed a very successful 75th Anniversary Campaign that featured artwork, a 75th Anniversary Yearbook, and a number of commemorative events. Our vision to make the Association’s 75th Anniversary special was realized. A very special piece of commemorative art was completed and is now on display at NDTA HQ. We completed a 75th Anniversary Yearbook and printed 2,000 copies that are being distributed; we held celebrations, sang songs, toasted Champagne to our successes and cut a cake in celebration. None of this would have been possible without the financial contributions many of you gave to support the anniversary effort and the many volunteers who pitched in to make it work. From all of us – Thank You!

Goals for 2020
In 2020 we will continue and build upon what we did in 2019. Our new theme is to “Build on Our Strong Foundations.” With that in mind, we will:

  • Place more emphasis on Chapter revitalization and support from NDTA headquarters – This is already in motion as the Jacksonville Chapter has initiated their plan to become more robust in size and relevance. The same is happening in other Chapters. The team in Pennsylvania is working to rejuvenate the Chapter there, and folks living and working in Bahrain are looking to standup the South West Asia Chapter
  • Position NDTA to participate in Department of Labor Grant supporting Apprenticeships. There is potential for NDTA industry partners to participate in a Department of Labor Apprentice program, whereby industry can receive matching funds for apprenticeships. NDTA is working as a partner to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and the Department of Labor for an Apprenticeship Grant program designed to support the development of a more highly skilled and trained US workforce. We hope to learn more in the coming months with grant award expected in JAN/FEB 2020.
  • Promote young leader development and participation during all events, including chapter meetings. Also, we want to connect young industry leaders and professionals with our willing scholarship students as a way of enhancing their educational experience to learn more about NDTA and industry.
  • Conduct a membership campaign to gain more individual and industry memberships—with an increased goal of 10 percent. We will do this by expanding involvement at our three primary meetings and conferences; developing involvement in our NDTA committees particularly on the GPTAC – passenger travel council; and actively seeking greater industry involvement.
  • Campaign for steady growth in the Scholarship/Foundation investments—supporting our young leaders. This past year, the NDTA Foundation provided $42K in scholarships to promote the education of our youth. We will seek to grow the Foundation financial corpus to ensure NDTA is able to continue to support the educational needs of these students. We want them to become the future logistics and transportation leaders we need to ensure our Nation’s strong defense!

I hope this gives you an idea of where we have been in 2019 and a sense of our plans for 2020. As I said in the opening—I remain optimistic!

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