The Official Newsletter of The National Defense Transportation Association

December 17, 2019

THIS JUST IN: NDTA announces open season for 2020 scholarship applications for NDTA Foundation Scholarships

NDTA’s Accomplishments and Goals

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. […]

Finding the Money: Long and Short Term Views from FedEx’s Chief Economist

By Sharon Lo Managing Editor, Defense Transportation Journal and The Source

During the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting, Dr. Tim Mullaly, Chief Economist, FedEx, provided a keynote address to the audience. He likened being an economist as similar to being a weatherman. Your job is to surveil the world around you to tell others how the “storm” is tracking and where it will hit. His speech gave Fall Meeting attendees both short- and long-term forecasts for the US economy.

By the numbers
The US economy is currently growing at 2.3 percent. This number is down from last year’s growth rate of 2.9 percent, which was the fastest growth seen within the current business cycle. The economy is expected to slow down even more next year to 1.8 percent, just below trend growth rate. Growth, according to Mullaly, allows us to determine what resources we have at our disposal—including in transportation. […]

Beyond the Headlines

World Hot Spots: What to Watch

By Sharon Lo Managing Editor, Defense Transportation Journal and The Source

As we head into the New Year, here are some of the stories to watch around the world:

President Trump could announce as early as this week a troop drawdown in Afghanistan. The likely scenario would be to withdraw approximately 4,000 troops, bringing the number of American service members down from an estimated 12,000 (13,000 according to some news outlets) to approximately 8,600 troops.

This comes as the US pauses talks with the Taliban following an attack by the militant group on Bagram Airfield this week. The talks are aimed at ending the 18-year war there.

Details are emerging on how China would increase imports from the US by as much as $200 billion over the next two years in order to meet its commitments under the phase one trade deal announced last week. Beijing is expected to import $40 billion to $50 billion of agricultural products, and possibly resume purchases of US ethanol. […]

Protect Your Data or Lose DOD Business: Maj. Gen. Murphy (EXCLUSIVE)
(Breaking Defense) The head of the Pentagon’s Protecting Critical Technology Task Force wants to tighten security controls. That may conflict with the push to streamline acquisition.

Patent Pending: IBM’s Plan for Vehicle Platooning on the Blockchain
(Supply Chain Dive) Vehicle platooning, depending on who you ask, is the future of fleet management or an over-hyped technology with no business case. Communication is key in platooning, and in a patent application IBM makes the case that blockchain is one option.

New NAFTA Leaves Winners and Losers Across North America
(Bloomberg) Companies, workers and lawmakers in three countries have spent the past year in limbo awaiting final touches on the US-Mexico-Canada free-trade agreement. Now they have a better sense of who won—and who lost.

FAA Plans New Safety Division as Post-Boeing Max Scrutiny Ramps Up
(CNBC) The Federal Aviation Administration is planning a new division that aims to improve aircraft certification, a development that comes as the agency is under increasing scrutiny for approving the Boeing 737 Max before two of the fast-selling planes crashed.

Bad Idea: Assuming the Small Wars Era is Over
(Defense 360) In seeking greater attention to the pressing challenges presented by peer and near-peer adversaries, those advocating for a strategic reorientation have (even if inadvertently) contributed to the dangerous notion that the United States need not continue to prepare to fight weaker adversaries like non-state militants and irregular forces and to conduct operations that fall below the threshold of major war.

The Army’s New Approach to People
(War on the Rocks) Gen. James C. McConville, the Army’s 40th chief of staff, has given his marching orders: The Army’s top priority is people—more specifically, overhauling talent management. How will future leaders be assessed, selected, and promoted?

DHL Operation Holiday Cheer Delivers Joy to US Troops Overseas(DHL) This holiday season, DHL Express is delivering 500 fresh-cut Christmas trees, thousands of handwritten letters as well as menorahs, festive decorations, and other gifts to US troops stationed abroad. 

Crowley Honors Veterans with Major Donation, Logistics Services to Wreaths Across America
(Crowley) Honoring the service of US warfighters, Crowley Maritime Corp. has donated end-to-end logistics services and contributions totaling nearly $50,000 to Wreaths Across America, so almost 13,000 wreaths can be laid in remembrance at the gravesites of US veterans in Jacksonville, FL, Puerto Rico, and other locations.

Enterprise Scion Chrissy Taylor to Become Car Rental Giant’s CEO
(Fortune) Enterprise Holdings, the largest US rental car company, has announced that chief operating officer Chrissy Taylor would take on the role of chief executive in a planned succession. 

Union Pacific Completes Positive Train Control Implementation; Interoperability Efforts Continue
(Union Pacific Railroad) Union Pacific recently completed Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation, activating its final track segment.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Continues Expansion in the Middle East – Wyndham Garden® and Ramada Encore® by Wyndham brands to Debut in Oman
(Wyndham Hotels) Wyndham Hotels & Resorts continues to ramp up its expansion across the Middle East with the opening of two new hotels in Muscat, Oman. The openings mark the introduction of the Wyndham Garden and Ramada Encore by Wyndham brands to Oman.

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