Strengthening the Defense Transportation and Logistics Enterprise
The 11th Annual NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting took place from October 31 through November 3, 2023, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Attendees from government, military, and industry convened to identify and solve logistics and transportation issues together, learn about new technologies, develop best practices, and build professional and personal relationships.
The theme for the meeting, Advancing US Power Projection with Allies & Partners, explored the global strategic competition occurring in a highly contested environment, as well as the need to provide leadership in close coordination with allies and partners to provide the logistics and transportation capability and capacity to globally support US national security interests. NDTA President & CEO VADM William A. Brown, USN (Ret.), served as Master of Ceremonies during the event.
During the opening ceremony, NDTA Chairman, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at FedEx, Mr. John Dietrich, commented on the co-sponsor partnership between the two organizations, “our collective ability to bring together a wide range of groups from government, industry allies, and academic experts helps to build stronger relationships between us all.”
“For nearly 80 years, NDTA has brought us together to share expertise, solve problems, and encourage continued collaboration. The generation of ideas and actionable service from this group have impacted communities spanning the globe during both times of peace and times of turmoil—exemplifying what it means to be an ally and partner,” he said.
“There is no more time for us to work together collaboratively than there is today,” declared Dietrich. “The security environment around the world continues to rapidly evolve. Every single group here has had to adapt to the changing geopolitical landscape over the last number of years. While the challenges are always changing, one thing [sic] does not change—and that is NDTA’s dedication to serving as a trusted environment to address the Nation’s needs in the fields of logistics, transportation, and passenger travel services.”
Brown added that, “Our world continues to place demands on our military, as recent events have proven to be true. Our theme and our planning efforts are tied to our National and military security strategies, along with the USTRANSCOM Commander’s strategy and priorities.”
Developed in support of these strategies, the Fall Meeting agenda included general sessions with five keynote speakers and two moderated roundtable discussions. The annual Transportation Academy, held in conjunction with the conference each year, consisted of 67 interactive classes taught by subject matter experts ranging from tactical experts to geopolitical strategic thinkers. In addition, the Expo Hall and Resource Center facilitated networking and information sharing.
Fall Meeting attendees encompass a wide range of military, government, industry, and academic leaders who come together with the shared goal of strengthening the Defense transportation and logistics enterprise. The meeting agenda also featured a wide variety of valuable meetings for each of these groups, including meetings of the Association’s committees.
Several of NDTA’s six functional committees—the Military Aviation Advisory, Military Sealift, Surface Transportation, Logistics & Distribution, and Cybersecurity Best Practices—met during the conference. All attendees of the Fall Meeting have the opportunity to attend these meetings as observers.
During the Fall Meeting, one of NDTA’s administrative committees, the NDTA Young Leaders Committee, met for both a networking social as well as a riveting fireside panel discussion and luncheon. The fireside chat was moderated by Ms. Vanessa Stotts, Deputy Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD), USTRANSCOM, and featured panelists Mr. Paul Mayer, Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD), USTRANSCOM; Colonel Paul Nelson, Australian Liaison Officer to the US Joint Staff J4 & USTRANSCOM; and Colonel Angel Santiago, USAF, USTRANSCOM LNO to US Southern Command.
More information on the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting—and from past Fall Meetings—including additional articles, videos, and slides, can be found on NDTA’s website at www.ndtahq.com. Next year’s conference will take place October 7-10, 2024, in St. Louis, Missouri. Please mark your calendar and make it a priority to join us for this essential event.
By Sharon Lo, Managing Editor, DTJ & The Source