National Defense Transportation Day a chance to honor USTRANSCOM’s service
Supply chain transportation of our nation’s military assets is handled by the U.S. Transportation Command, which is located at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, currently marking its centennial year in operation.
By Rindi White
Whether on our morning commute or at the grocery store to buy food for dinner, most of us take the transportation of people and goods for granted. When it comes to our U.S. military, supply chain transportation is crucial to the success of any endeavor. The logistics of moving a combat team from a domestic military base to an overseas one can be staggering and can include hauling equipment by rail, truck, boat and airplane, and sometimes all four.
National Defense Transportation Day — May 19 — is a federal day of recognition of the contributions that transportation by air, land and sea make to our national security.
The National Defense Transportation Association formed in 1944 so that government, military and private sector professionals could solve pressing challenges in logistics, transportation and passenger travel services. The NDTA has 233 corporate members and more than 5,500 individual members in more than 30 chapters worldwide.
In past years, NDTA president and CEO Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, U.S. Navy (Ret.), said the partnerships formed through his organization make the military supply chain strong.
“The Defense Transportation System is complex, versatile and made possible in part by partnerships between the military and private sector companies. Programs like the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement and Maritime Security Program guarantee that when there’s a national emergency, the resources of America’s transportation-related companies can easily — and quickly — move cargo and people where they’re needed,” Buzby wrote.
“This kind of close coordination doesn’t happen by magic. Working relationships and trust are built over years, sometimes decades,” he added.
The U.S. Transportation Command, located at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the official command responsible for moving and sustaining our nation’s military — anywhere, anytime, all the time.
Together with USTRANSCOM’s components and commercial industry partners, USTRANSCOM provides America’s leaders the capability to move massive amounts of forces, supplies, fuel equipment or humanitarian support rapidly to any place in the world.
USTRANSCOM is composed of five component and subordinate units.
The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is the Army component that provides DOD expertise for planning, booking, shipping and tracking cargo including surface movement and port management. SDDC is the executive agent for DOD’s Personal Property Program and continues to re-engineer the way DOD selects, manages and works with transportation service providers that move household goods and vehicles.
Military Sealift Command is the naval component command and provides military and commercial sealift transportation services to deploy military equipment, fuel and supplies to the U.S. and allied forces around the globe. Sealift is the heavy mover for the Department of Defense with more than 90 percent of deployed military equipment moving by sea. MSC also operates a fleet of prepositioned ships strategically placed to allow rapid deployment of combat equipment and supplies to first deployers during times of crisis.
Air Mobility Command is the Air Force component providing strategic and tactical airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation services to deploy, sustain and redeploy U.S. and coalition forces wherever they are needed. AMC uses a fleet of organic airlift aircraft capable of carrying large, outsized cargo. The AMC fleet of aerial tanks provides in-flight refueling for deployment or increased battle space endurance anywhere in the world. AMC also maintains and operates a fleet of special-duty aircraft and operational support aircraft, including Air Force One. TRANSCOM, as the DOD Single Manager for patient movement, coordinates AMC’s aeromedical evacuation mission to move critical patients to specialized care throughout the world.
The Joint Enabling Capabilities Command provides mission-tailored joint capability packages to assist combatant commanders who need to rapidly establish, organize and operate a Joint Force Headquarters.
The Joint Transportation Reserve Unit within USTRANSCOM provides directorate support with trained, ready Reserve Component Forces in support of the USTRANSCOM mission.