Van Ovost Delivers Command Posture Statement to Senate Armed Services Committee
U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee to present the command’s annual posture statement.
In her opening remarks, Van Ovost said the command is in lockstep with U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander, U.S. European Command, in providing critical aid to Ukraine. She stated TRANSCOM coordinates the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, creating a strategic comparative advantage through logistics that no other nation can achieve.
“TRANSCOM operates an agile and resilient logistics enterprise comprised of our military components, commercial partners, and industry teammates delivering for our nation, our allies, and our partners around the world,” said Van Ovost. “We project and sustain the world’s most capable military force. The speed and reliability at which we can execute these missions demonstrates our nation’s resolve and serves as a deterrent to our adversaries. However, the world is evolving, and the complex contested environment that is emerging will test the future readiness of our enterprise, and challenge TRANSCOM’s ability to deliver a decisive force when needed.”
She then discussed the current strategic environment, saying “This complex new security environment will test the future readiness of our Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise (JDDE), and challenge TRANSCOM’s ability to deliver a decisive force for high-end conflict when needed.”
“Every operation the Joint Force participates in starts and ends with TRANSCOM and is facilitated through the global networks and nodes made available to us through the JDDE,” Van Ovost said. “Our commercial partners are essential to our ability to move the 85 percent of the force based in the continental U.S. to locations around the world, in cooperation with our allies and partners.”
To counter the contested environment, Van Ovost said, “TRANSCOM’s focus is on a more agile, resilient force while relying on integration, both internally and externally, with commercial industry as well as our allies and partners. This will ensure the JDDE remains united in effort and purpose as we illuminate the need for change necessary to defeat the pacing threat.”
She said the success of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) power projection capability is contingent on three critical elements of TRANSCOM’s organizational warfighting framework: Global Mobility Posture; Global Mobility Capacity; and Global Command, Control, and Integration.
“Global Mobility Posture is the foundation of power projection, enabled by a deep bench of allies and partners, which includes access to global transportation networks maintained by industry to support our nation’s ability to mobilize and deploy,” said Van Ovost. “While this provides the U.S. a comparative advantage, it must be continually assessed and refined, as necessary, to meet the evolving geopolitical landscape.”
Further, she said, “Our Global Mobility Capacity includes conveyances and platforms that move troops, supplies, fuel, and equipment through global transportation networks, such as rail, motor transport, sealift, air refueling, and airlift.”
She stressed while DOD’s programmed resources maintain the command’s readiness and preserve strategic decision space, continued Congressional support for the mobility recapitalization efforts is crucial to effectively operate in a future contested logistics environment.
“By 2032, approximately 70 percent of government-owned surge sealift ships will approach the end of their service life and must be replaced; the air refueling fleet remains our most stressed fleet under wartime conditions; and given the U.S. asymmetric advantage in strategic airlift, coupled with the continued high demands placed on this fleet, we should anticipate the need to recapitalize and modernize this strategic capability,” Van Ovost wrote in her submitted statement.
Addressing Global Command, Control, and Integration, she said it remains central to TRANSCOM’s ability to align scarce mobility resources with the highest strategic priorities.
“Our ability to command and control mobility forces is enabled by a portfolio of information technology (IT) systems and is contingent on secure networks and continuous digital modernization efforts,” said Van Ovost. “Cyber resiliency and digital modernization initiatives will remain a top priority for the command. As we are inextricably linked to commercial industry, we remain focused on strengthening partnerships with our transportation providers to mitigate cyber vulnerabilities.”
She also noted the command’s effort in reforming the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3), saying TRANSCOM, on behalf of the DOD, continues to lead the DP3 overhaul by re-awarding the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) last year and developing MilMove, a new IT system, to replace the legacy system.
“By transitioning to a single move manager, GHC fundamentally restructures DOD’s relationship with the household goods moving industry to deliver not only the high quality our service members, DOD employees, and their families deserve, but also the accountability Congress demanded,” said Van Ovost.
In closing, she highlighted the leading role the men and women of TRANSCOM play in underwriting the lethality of the Joint Force, advancing American interests around the globe, and providing our nation’s leaders with strategic flexibility while creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.
“While I know TRANSCOM is ready, our mobility enterprise will continue to modernize to meet the challenges of tomorrow, so we will not rest on the achievements of the past. We will continue to accelerate our momentum to ensure we can surge the entire enterprise at any moment, to anywhere,” said Van Ovost. “We remain dedicated … to fight, deliver and win!”
By USTRANSCOM Public Affairs