CinCTRANS Congressional Testimony.
Today, America and the international community depend on the US military to perform a wide range of warfighting, peacekeeping, and humanitarian missions. No matter what the mission, whether at home or abroad, this country's Defense Transportation System (DTS) enables it to quickly extend a "hand of friendship" or "the fist of war" to any location on the globe. The DTS, with its people, trucks, trains, aircraft, ships, information systems, and infrastructure, provides the United States (US) the most responsive strategic mobility capability the world has ever seen. It is USTRANSCOM's responsibility to manage this strategic global mobility system.
USTRANSCOM takes a holistic approach to managing the DTS, i.e., strategic transportation planning and modal operations are interdependently managed. When the unified commands, services, or other government agencies require strategic transportation they need to make only one call: to USTRANSCOM.
Because of USTRANSCOM's responsiveness and global reach, the command is in a constant state of activity. At every moment of every day, around the globe, USTRANSCOM's superb force of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen, and civilians are accomplishing a wide array of joint mobility missions. For example, during an average week USTRANSCOM operates 1,669 strategic air mobility missions transiting 52 countries, operates 22 military ocean ports in 13 countries, and has 20 chartered military ships underway. Thirty-six additional government-owned and chartered vessels, loaded with military cargo, are strategically prepositioned around the world, significantly increasing the responsiveness of urgently needed US military equipment and supplies during time of crisis. USTRANSCOM does all of this as a total-force team of active duty, guard and reserve personnel, civilians, and commercial partners, bringing the total synergy of US military and commercial transportation resources to bear in times of crisis , wherever in the world they may be required.
The capability of America's DTS is unparalleled in history. Never before has such a ready and capable mobility system existed in peacetime. But "readiness" and "peacetime" are often ambiguous terms when used to describe today's world environment. USTRANSCOM frequently finds itself operating at a near wartime tempo during peacetime. We are frequently called upon to surge to a combat operations tempo without benefit of our full wartime manning or activation of our agreements with industry for their surge capacities.
That said, eventhough USTRANSCOM is generally ready and capable, there are a number of challenges in USTRANSCOM's critical personnel, infrastructure, and equipment underpinnings that concern me now and, of even greater concern, challenges that could impair command capabilities in the future if we do not set about to correct them soon.
As you look at USTRANSCOM today, many of the visible features of the DTS are showcased daily around the world: the ships, aircraft, trains, and people who make day-to-day global mobility for the Department of Defense (and others) a reality. That said, many people are not aware of the wide variety of aggressive actions USTRANSCOM is taking behind the scenes to improve our transportation reliability and our global responsiveness to America's challenges. This statement serves as a "State of the Command" report and examines where we are, where we are going, how we are getting there, and the challenges we face. Ultimately, this statement is intended to portray the USTRANSCOM you see and know, as well as the USTRANSCOM you may not see everyday.
USTRANSCOM's mission is to provide air, land, and sea transportation for the Department of Defense (DOD), both in time of peace and time of war. To accomplish this mission, for day-to-day execution, we rely on USTRANSCOM's Component Commands: the Air Force's Air Mobility Command (AMC); the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC); and the Army's Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC). Relying on a blend of active and reserve forces, civilian employees, and commercial industry, the USTRANSCOM component commands provide mobility forces and assets in a force structure continuum designed to be able to make a seamless transition from peace to war.
USTRANSCOM is a leader in DOD's reengineering efforts. As the first Secretary of Defense-designated "Reinvention Commander in Chief (CINC)," with authority to emulate leading edge business practices, USTRANSCOM is actively engaged in finding commercial best business opportunities and implementing those efficiencies for DOD. The command has pioneered DOD's efforts to leverage the strengths of US commercial industry to significantly improve the daily service of the DTS to all customers, contributing significantly to our ability to guarantee wartime readiness. The command has also formed a supply-chain management partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), creating a new Strategic Distribution Management Initiative (SDMI) that promises to streamline DOD's entire distribution system.
While we are proud of the significant gains made in peacetime efficiency, we remain focused on our primary imperative: wartime readiness. Simply put, the USTRANSCOM wartime mission has three objectives:
1. Get the warfighter to the fight.
2. Sustain the warfighter during the fight.
3. Bring the warfighter home after the fight is done.
Accordingly, my number one mission at USTRANSCOM is strategic mobility support to the regional CINCs during crises. That said, as our Nation's policy and decision makers ponder changes to our National Security Strategy, they should always keep in mind that USTRANSCOM is only postured -- from a force structure perspective -- as a one Major Theater War (MTW) force with a two MTW mission and that the command is still evolving to meet even that requirement.
Today, it is our assessment that we can meet the requirements of the first MTW with moderate risk, but that there are higher levels of risk associated with the second nearly simultaneous MTW. In fact, if the National Military Strategy were to evolve from the current two nearly simultaneous MTWs to something considered less stressful -- one MTW and one or more Smaller Scale Contingencies for example, assuming no improvement to our current or projected posture, we would continue to operate at an elevated risk. The June 2000 Government Accounting Office (GAO) report titled, "Military Readiness: Air Transport Capability Falls Short of Requirements" (Code 702017) (Final Report NSIAD-00-135), highlighted the depth of the problem. This report stated, "DOD does not have sufficient airlift and air refueling capability to meet the two major theater war requirements because many aircraft needed to carry out wartime activities are not mission ready." The GAO estimated that DOD is 29 percent short of being able to meet t he established military airlift requirement and nearly 19 percent short of being able to meet the established air refueling requirement.
USTRANSCOM's approach to posturing (and improving) itself to be able to meet DOD's transportation mission today and tomorrow requires flexibility and initiative, and is guided by the following four basic themes:
-- Theme one: Maintaining readiness to perform our global mobility mission.
-- Theme two: Continuing modernization and upgrade of aging equipment and infrastructure.
-- Theme three: Improving key processes in the DTS.
-- Theme four: Investing in the care and quality of USTRANSCOM's most valuable resource -- its people. DTJ
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|Title Annotation:||Defense Transportation System|
|Publication:||Defense Transportation Journal|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2001|
|Previous Article:||President's Corner.|