US Transportation Command: Technology Through the Lens of Warfighting Readiness

Oct 2, 2019 | Defense Transportation Journal

US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tenley Long/Released

By: USTRANSCOM Public Affairs

The US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) conducts globally integrated mobility operations in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.  To project the Joint Force today, the Department of Defense (DOD) uses a global network of nodes—aerial ports, seaports, distribution hubs and staging bases. Military and commercial transporters move units to and from these nodes and forward to the fight.  As USTRANSCOM executes the global command and control necessary to generate an immediate force, it’s imperative that we maintain this global network of nodes and ready our mobility capacity to seamlessly transition to a fully mobilized Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise (JDDE) to project a decisive force when required.

Technology is a crucial component of our readiness.  When we view technology through the lens of warfighting readiness, we find opportunities that can improve USTRANSCOM mission outcomes.

Every activity within USTRANSCOM is measured by the contribution it makes to warfighting readiness.  If the action contributes to that bottom line, then USTRANSCOM can continue to harness the power projection apparatus and ultimately, move and sustain the Joint Force globally.

IT Portfolio Optimization

A candid assessment of USTRANSCOM’s Information Technology (IT) portfolio acknowledges many legacy systems do not lend themselves to integration into rapidly advancing, data-oriented applications that are already changing the game, for us and our adversaries.  At this juncture in our IT portfolio, we must determine which systems can continue to contribute to warfighting readiness and which systems require modernization. It is not enough to simply gain productivity and efficiencies through IT. Achieving advanced computational processing capabilities is at the center of our efforts.

Establishing a Data Culture: Enterprise Data Management and Data Analytics

We are approaching the nexus of data with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Advanced Analytics.  These capabilities, matured within our organization, will create a competitive advantage for the DOD. USTRANSCOM and the entire JDDE must manage data before it can be analyzed.  The command has an enterprise data management strategy that will accomplish this first step. The follow-on step is to leverage data through analytics that enhance our operational insights and foresights to make better decisions in support of power projection.

Cloud Computing

To fully realize the predictive power of analytics, information must be shared across the enterprise, with both military and commercial partners.  USTRANSCOM will continue moving to the cloud to ensure accessibility of information. The cloud allows us to operate faster, more efficiently and more securely.  Collaborating in the cloud creates the environment that allows us to exploit the full range of analytic tools in order to make decisions, at the scale and speed of war.  Ultimately, these efforts will ensure that we retain our strategic comparative advantage to project and sustain the Joint Force globally.

Cyber Domain Mission Assurance

Cyberspace is a warfighting domain, without sanctuary.  As in all warfighting domains, assuring mission capabilities requires resilience and simultaneous efforts across multiple functions and stakeholders, including defense, interagency and industry partners – there is no single ‘silver bullet’ solution. Our actions are underscored by the need to understand adversary intentions, capabilities, and actions targeting the JDDE.

We will actively manage mission risk and advance our cyber domain capabilities by understanding our large and complex attack surface, constantly managing and improving our mission relevant cyber terrain, securing our cyber area of operations, and actively defending our ability to globally command and control operations.

Warfighting Readiness: Driven by New Technologies and Innovation

Warfighting readiness today does not guarantee warfighting readiness in the future, a future that is unknown, unpredictable, and changing at an unprecedented pace.  We face a competitive environment characterized by great power competition, an erosion of technical advantage, all-domain warfare, and increasing logistics demands. USTRANSCOM will evolve and overcome emerging threats by being agile in our processes, willing to test and rapidly adopt or reject new technologies, and make wise investments in innovation to continue to outpace our adversaries.  In doing so, we will strategically maneuver our enterprise to create multiple options for national leadership and multiple dilemmas for potential adversaries. Innovation and critical thinking are essential at every echelon to ensure we can outpace our adversaries. We are all co-equal in the value of our ideas focused on improving the JDDE to support national security requirements.

Data Science, the Complicated Attack Surface and much more at the 7th Annual Fall Meeting

USTRANSCOM looks forward to engaging further on the subject of technology at the 7th annual NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting. Leadership will provide a unique perspective on how commercial industry is a combat multiplier while at the same time complicating the attack surface, as adversaries will seek to harm USTRANSCOM by targeting our commercial partners in cyberspace and other arenas of competition below the level of armed conflict.

In addition to keynote addresses, Chief Master Sgt. Jason France, USTRANSCOM’s senior enlisted leader, will conduct a roundtable exploring Leading in a Joint Environment at this year’s meeting with senior enlisted leaders from US Indo-Pacific Command, US Strategic Command, US Cyber Command and the Defense Logistics Agency.

And, join the director of the Joint Distribution Process Analysis Center, Bruce Busler, to learn about the Application of Enterprise Data Science, or choose from more than 30 academic sessions USTRANSCOM and its components will host during the meeting.

Finally, congratulations to the National Defense Transportation Association for 75 years of bringing government, military, and private sector professionals together in pursuit of their greatest endeavor—serving the national defense and homeland security needs of America.  See you in St. Louis!

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