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Commander's corner.

Over the last six months, the deployment and redeployment of forces and equipment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom surpassed Operation Desert Storm as the largest deployment since World War II. During the same time, we began working increased liner support to this effort. Our liner support has been significant in theater retrograde efforts, as retrograde flow of equipment became an ever increasing and critical requirement to resetting the services.

While all of the deployments and redeployments were ongoing, we still had one of the largest years of motor, freight, rail and barge movement within the United States, with the movement of items from ammunition explosives to the supplies--the consumable products that support our forces deployed worldwide.

On top of this came Hurricane Katrina, in which we deployed the same command and control system that we developed for Southwest Asia, and which has been adopted by the other combatant commanders. For the first time we stood up a Deployment Distribution Operation Center for the Northern Command and sent the SDDC deputy commanding general to man the DDOC for Hurricane Katrina relief.

At a time of unprecedented operational tempo to deploy and sustain forces, we've also had a number of initiatives to change the way our command supports the joint force.

The Joint Logistics Over The Shore operation in the state of Washington highlighted SDDC as the task force commander for the JLOTS exercise.

We provided Army troops to Bright Star--a joint task force port-opening mission.

We've reengineered the personal property system tinder the Families First initiative.

In support of Army transformation, the SDDC's Transportation Engineering Agency has done numerous port studies and provided other support in terms of the transportability of the Army and other forces.

And as everyone knows we had a BRAC announcement that directly impacts SDDC.

During this unprecedented OPTEMPO at a time of changing roles and missions within the command and increased responsibility, one constant has been our workforce who have always been able to make the impossible look routine, and who meet every challenge called upon to do.

But this workforce has been supplemented heavily by the Reserve component, many of who have been on active duty for more than two years. The number of available Reservists are limited as well as the time they can spend on active duty.

That sets the stage for SDDC's Task Force Redesign, which is our effort from within the command to build an organization that most effectively executes surface deployment and distribution for our nation.

Task Force Redesign will build a lean war fighting headquarters that can provide effective surface deployment and distribution to the full spectrum of military operations--humanitarian support to high optempo combat operations-anywhere in the world.

The guiding principal of Task Force Redesign begins with and understanding of what it is that the headquarters must be capable of doing in quantifiable terms.

This is a significant departure from earlier efforts to build the command that were based on space savings or other efficiency driven objectives.

Now, we must ask ourselves what are our essential functions? As an organization, we book, track, adjust and pay. In any given year we handle 200,000 shipments. We are currently tracking half of those and are able to take action and adjust for about one percent of those shipments in comparison with industry.

So, how do we perform our functions effectively in a leaner wartime organization?

--We leverage all available technology Ensure all levels of the command share a common operating picture of what's important in their individual roles in the overall process

--And we leverage support from our industry partners.

Finally we need to build the organization to the size required to perform essential functions. By redesigning our command we will have an organization postured to effectively support our national strategy--in peace and war.

Maj. Gen. Charles W. Fletcher, Jr. Commander, SDDC
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Author:Fletcher, Charles W., Jr.
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
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