USTRANSCOM’s number one priority is warfighting readiness, said its Commander, General Stephen R. Lyons, USA. He described the command’s purpose, “to project and sustain military power globally at our time and place of choosing.” This ability is a strategic comparative advantage unparalleled by other nations. The strategic comparative advantage created is inextricably linked to USTRANSCOM’s industry partners.
Lyons’s comments were made during his keynote address on the third day of the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting. The meeting took place October 7-10, 2019, at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.
The reemergence of great power competition has influenced Defense Department strategy and holds significant implications for the Joint Deployment Distribution Enterprise (JDDE). “The warfighting function of sustainment and logistics must be successful under persistent all-domain attack,” said Lyons.
Cyber was one domain that Lyons addressed. Adversaries have targeted commercial partner networks as a means of accessing and disrupting USTRANSCOM’s networks. The General identified specific areas of risk to commercial networks.
Lyons also briefly discussed several areas of interest to the Fall Meeting audience before taking questions. These topics included sealift recapitalization, improvements to household goods movements, aerial refueling, and digital modernization.
Lyons was not the only DOD senior leader to address the Fall Meeting audience. The Honorable Robert H. McMahon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, provided a keynote speech on the second day.
McMahon challenged the audience to think about the future—how will they think differently and how they will behave differently, as well as how they could help DOD think differently.
“We can only preserve peach if the enemy knows that we will prevail in war,” he asserted. The question then becomes how to prove we can prevail to the level necessary for deterrence.
DOD has relied largely on inputs for decision-making. They have added inputs together to drive toward a single solution. But, this model is no longer valid. What was done in the past is irrelevant in this era of great power competition.
Instead, he said, DOD needs to define what it wants to accomplish and work backward toward that goal. McMahon encouraged the audience to let their imaginations run wild on how to achieve these goals, not allowing past experiences to dictate future actions and innovations.
Regarding the future of transportation, McMahon said we must consider if we have the correct assets. Furthermore, we need to determine if those assets are resilient to threats, and if priorities and assets can be shifted.
Ideas once considered absurd, like having a small computer on your wrist, are common now. Thinking differently is what spurred those game-changing concepts and technologies then—and thinking differently is what will spur such innovations in the future as well.
The NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting was a grand celebration of NDTA’s 75 years of service, and we hope to continue the trajectory. We want to request a small favor in the form of a short testimonial from you on your experience as an NDTA member. The purpose of this is to give others a sense of the long-term relationship between industry and DOD that the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) helps facilitate. We appreciate the value your testimonial would provide. When someone takes the time to recount a positive experience with an organization such as NDTA, it speaks volumes.
Testimonials from members are a valuable and powerful indicator of excellence and trust. We strive to provide such excellence, and as NDTA is celebrating our 75th year as an Association, you are part of that legacy. We are culminating with a drive to hear from you! We appreciate your time to capture the value of the relationship and specifically an issue you remember working through NDTA that resulted in the strengthened partnership. We would like to publish the testimonial, as well as a photo of you in both our newly updated NDTA website and social media sites. We have also created a hashtag (#NDTAMember) for you to use to include on your social media should you wish to.
If you would like to read some of the testimonials we have received as of yet, visit our website testimonials. To share your experience with NDTA, please email the Director of Public Relations Kimberly Huth (firstname.lastname@example.org). We request your response NLT December 31, 2020.
We sincerely appreciate you and look forward to working together to solve our Nation’s logistical challenges for many years to come.
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