Senate Confirmations, How Drones Could Change Shipping, and more top news

Jul 25, 2019 | NDTAGram

Now Accepting Abstracts for 2020 GovTravels Symposium

The National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) is now inviting conference abstracts for the 5th Annual GovTravels Symposium being held February 24-26, 2020 in Alexandria, VA.  GovTravels is the only event where stakeholders from government and industry gather to meet, learn and collaborate on common travel issues. Our 2020 theme is “Shaping the Future Traveler Experience.”  Data sharing, idea exchange, cross-field collaboration, and direct communication are all essential for fast-paced, ever-changing travel business. With this in mind, NDTA’s Government Passenger Travel Advisory Council (GPTAC), together with the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) and the General Services Administration (GSA), is pleased to invite abstracts for this conference and provide a platform to discuss the challenges and future development in this fast-advancing field. Specific topics of interest to the conference include: Category Management, Compliance and Fraud, Waste and Abuse, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Tools, Payment Systems, Technology Innovation, TMC Partner Programs, Policies and Procedures, Program Best Practices, Trends and Emerging Technologies, Experience and Safety, and Other.

The portal will be open for incoming abstracts through August 30, 2019. Aside from invited speakers, the organizing committee will also select candidates from the submitted abstracts to participate in or lead professional development sessions and round table discussions. The selected speakers will be offered a discount off the registration fee. In addition, some submissions may be selected for keynote presentations.  All abstracts will be collected and reviewed by the GPTAC. Quality submissions may be invited for publication in a conference special issue in our Defense Transportation Journal. Abstracts can be submitted via email at The template for abstract is available HERE.

Government & Military News

With several key government and military vacancies on the cusp of being filled, here is who the Senate has confirmed this week (thus far):

  • Esper Confirmed as New Defense Secretary, Ending Pentagon Leadership Uncertainty (Defense NewsREAD MORE
  • Senate Confirms Trump’s Pick to Lead FAA (The HillREAD MORE 

Budget Deal Gives a Big Funding Boost to Defense, But Republicans Wanted More
(Military Times) The Defense Department will see a hefty hike in its funding next fiscal year under the budget deal announced by the White House and Democratic leaders, but it won’t be as much as congressional Republicans wanted. READ MORE

Expeditionary or Forward Based?
(RealClearDefense) During the 20th century, the US Navy developed and fielded (floated?) a truly expeditionary navy. This capability was maintained throughout the Cold War.  However, towards the very end of the Cold War, the expeditionary nature of the US Navy began to erode…READ MORE

China’s New 2019 Defense White Paper: An Open Strategic Challenge to the United States, But One Which Does Not Have to Lead to Conflict
(Center for Strategic & International Studies) For all the furor over Iran and the Gulf, or Britain and Brexit, the most important foreign news of the month is what would normally be a relatively obscure Chinese official document: China’s National Defense in the New EraREAD MORE

Iran Is Acting Like the International Villain of Trump’s Prophecy
(The Atlantic) Any number of relatively mundane scenarios now have the potential to escalate US-Iran tensions—from a fire at a militia base to the seizure of an oil tanker to the signal-jamming of a drone. READ MORE

GSA Awards New City Pairs Contracts
(FedWeek) GSA has awarded new contracts under its city pair program, which set pre- and firm-fixed-price air fares for federal travelers at a 51 percent discount from comparable commercial fares that the agency says will yield a saving of about $2.7 billion. READ MORE

Industry News

How Drones Could Change the Shipping Industry
(CNBC) Today, container ships transport more than 90% of all goods in the world, but it can take over a month for those goods to sail from Beijing to New York. Cargo drones could be the disruption needed in a global supply chain that has been largely unchanged since the 1950s. WATCH VIDEO 

The Great Industrial Competition: Mergers, Acquisitions and Geopolitical Events Fuel Revenue
(Defense News) For the third straight year, overall defense revenues for the Top 100 defense companies in the world have increased, as defense budgets around the globe continue to climb in what has been dubbed a new era of great power competition. READ MORE

Let’s Send Help: Fixing Shipping and Logistics for Humanitarian Aid
(Forbes) Delivering humanitarian aid from Point A to Point B isn’t as easy as, well, getting from Point A to Point B. Far from it. Simply put, the model for shipping aid is broken. READ MORE

Thousands of Truck Drivers Have Lost Their Jobs This Year in the Trucking ‘Bloodbath.’ Here’s What’s Behind the Slowdown in the $800 Billion Industry.
(Business Insider) There isn’t one clean explanation for why a slowdown is hitting the $800 billion trucking industry. But analysts and truck drivers pointed to a few reasons it’s on shaky ground in 2019. READ MORE

Future Proofing Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing for Industry 4.0
(Avionics International) Explore four key areas that all highlight where the right software can help aerospace and defense manufacturers deliver on a 4.0 strategy and future-proof their business. READ MORE

Member Highlights

Sustainment in the Military: Maintain Technological Advantage Over the Life Span of Military Systems
(Deloitte) Modern military systems face a dilemma: They must stay at the cutting edge of performance yet serve for ever longer life spans. Solving that dilemma relies on linking sustainment strategy, operations, and execution. READ MORE

Delta Says the Next Big Battle Between Airlines Will Take Place on the Ground
(CNBC) The airline industry is experiencing strong financial performance. As a result, major airlines flush with money for reinvestment are making the on-the-ground experience a greater focus of their efforts to out-compete rival carriers. READ MORE

Q&A | How Analytics Are Transforming the Supply Chain
(Supply Chain Brain) Jim Hayden, Chief Technology Officer with Savi Technology, details how analytics are improving the supply chain—especially human capabilities. READ MORE

Journal of Government Financial Management® Publishes mLINQS’ Letter to the Editor
(mLINQS) mLINQS’ President, Greg McIntyre recently wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of the Journal of Government Financial Management addressing the benefits an automated PCS management solution would provide the government. READ MORE

Next-Day Delivery Pays Off for UPS
(CNN) Next-day delivery is becoming standard at Amazon and Walmart. That’s paying off for UPS. READ MORE

NDTA News & Events

NDTA 75th Anniversary
We are excited to celebrate NDTA’s 75th Anniversary which will culminate with our Fall Meeting in St. Louis, 7-10 October 2019. The NDTA staff and key volunteers are working to put together a significant amount of celebratory opportunities. We’ve commissioned a piece of art which “tells the story” of NDTA’s history. It will be available at all major events. The first soft “unveiling” was held at the GovTravels Symposium and the Fall Meeting will host our official unveiling. We have also committed to publishing a 75th Anniversary Yearbook which will republish much of the editions from the 50th and 65th yearbooks—and years 66 through 75. The yearbook will be a limited publication to be primarily handed out to Fall Meeting registrants. We have thought extensively regarding the appropriate way to go about fundraising for the celebration—and have decided to ask for modest contributions. To find more information on these fundraising efforts and to make a donation, please visit: As we look back, we are also looking ahead to the future—continuing to educate and add value through dialog and relationship building. Thank you for all of your support!

Find NDTA chapter events on the NDTA CALENDAR.


The NDTAGram is produced weekly by NDTA, a non-profit, non-political educational association, for informational purposes only. We want to hear from you! For questions or comments please email To change your subscription, email

Share This