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Commanding General says MTMC team should be proud of its accomplishments.

Have I told you lately how proud and honored I am to be the MTMC Commander? The hard work and dedication put forth by this team as we help fight and support the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom has been a sight to behold. Our professional workforce has been key to accomplishing a most demanding mission and enabling the work we do to go as smoothly as anyone could reasonably expect.

The MTMC team remains committed to supporting the war fighter as our number one priority. That means that the war fighter can always count on MTMC to deliver the right stuff at the right place at the right time. Our success in doing so comes directly from the tireless efforts of our entire team, military (active, guard and reserve), civilian (government and contractors) and commercial partners working around the globe.

As the United States Central Command continues operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, MTMC continues its focus to support the war fighter. To date, MTMC, in partnership with Military Sealift Command, has moved more than 15,500,000 square feet of cargo aboard more than 150 vessels from our worldwide strategic seaports. At our peak MTMC was operating 16 seaports and 12 power projection platforms.

We have also improved the effectiveness of our support to the war fighter. MTMC operations to support Operation Iraqi Freedom offer a significant contrast to the support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm just 12 years ago. Then we delivered equipment as we sought to maximize load efficiency at the expense of unit integrity. History reflects that for 1st ID the average combat arms battalion arrived on 7 vessels over a 26-day period. Similarly, an average combat service support battalion arrived spread across 17 vessels over a 37-day period. Early on in the planning, the Combined Forces Land Component Commander, Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, expressed his desire and vision to load vessels by unit and task organization. While some might express concern that this was not the most efficient way to load vessels, it was clearly going to be a more efficient and effective way to discharge and move combat power to tactical assembly areas in the area of responsibility.

In practice the results were impressive. The majority of the cargo for the 101st Airborne Division's first brigade combat team departed Jacksonville aboard just two ships--the USNS Dahl and the USNS Bob Hope. Each of these Large, Medium-Speed, Roll-on/Roll-off vessels, known as LMSRs, is two to three times the size of the largest vessels available in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The entire division rolled out by task organization on five vessels and arrived in Kuwait over a period of 12 days. As a direct result of the upgrades to the military's power projection platforms, the 101st Screaming Eagles' combat power moved mostly via rail to the port. That is a sharp contrast to the Desert Shield/Desert Storm era, when most of the division had to be moved by commercial truck or road marched. An expanded rail capability at Fort Campbell, Ky., was the key to this success.

In Jacksonville, Fla., members of the MTMC team and our industry partners completed a historic first. We simultaneously loaded two LMSRs in preparation for a real-world contingency. Our MTMC single-port management team in Kuwait recently made history with six vessels discharging simultaneously at Ash Shuyaiba.

Another strategic sealift success story is our elimination of break-bulk ships. During the Gulf War, 33 break-bulk vessels were loaded with ammunition at the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point, N.C. Break-bulk has been eliminated by the more efficient practice of containerization. During Desert Shield/Desert Storm, loading ammo break-bulk vessels took 8 to 14 days. Today it takes five to six days to load our ammo container ships.

One of our priorities has been to get our arms around the in-transit visibility/total asset visibility, or ITV/TAV, challenge. By changing our business rules, leveraging our automation systems and working closely with our carriers we have obtained 100 percent ITV/TAV of our surface cargo. Because of our ability to know what commodities are in the distribution pipeline and provide the war fighter accurate reliable information on expected arrival dates, we were able to maximize surface delivery and preclude expensive costs associated with having to fly supplies into the theater. This does two things: builds war fighters' confidence in the system and precludes the iron mountain build-ups we had in Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

While many were toiling around the clock to meet the immediate need to deploy and sustain the force, other staff elements within MTMC were keeping an eye to the future and accomplishing magnificent contributions to bring us down the road toward our long-term goals.

We continue to leverage technology to make MTMC more responsive to the war fighter from the fort to the port by working with U.S. Forces Command to instill discipline in the system at the source.

We deployed a mobile radio-frequency identification tag system into the Central Command Area of Responsibility in support of our goals to improve visibility of shipments. Those kinds of enablers coupled with our soon-to-be-developed Surface Transportation Management System, STMS, will leverage off-the-shelf technology to provide end-to-end distribution solutions. STMS will also eliminate the need to maintain multiple systems to conduct complementary functions. These are but a few of the other contributions made in support of the war on terrorism by MTMC employees every day.

Oh, and by the way, while we are at war we continue to transform ourselves to become the surface distribution command in support of TRANSCOM's vision to provide joint global distribution at the strategic level--pretty awesome stuff and the right thing to do.

Every day this great team moves forward to posture itself not only to support the war fighter in 2010 but today and every day until then. On time! Every time!

Major General Ann E. Dunwoody,

Commander, Military Traffic Management Command
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Title Annotation:Commander's Corner
Author:Dunwoody, Ann E.
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jun 22, 2003
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