U.S. Transporation Command hosts Transportation Interns

United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) hosted five Navy Supply Corps Operational Logistic (OPLOG) Transportation interns as part of a USTRANSCOM and component command briefing and tour held at its headquarters on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

Photo with Vice Adm. Brown (standing) from left to right - Lt. Kendrick Garrett from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One (NCHB-1); Lt. Jacob Grimes from NAVSUP GLS Norfolk; Lt. Brad Sturgis, Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC); Vice Adm. William A. Brown, Deputy Commander, USTRANSCOM; Lt. Stephanie Harrison, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor; and Lt. j.g. Matthew Kelley, DLA Distribution, exchange ideas during a recent visit by Supply Corps Transportation Interns.

Photo with Vice Adm. Brown (standing) from left to right – Lt. Kendrick Garrett from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One (NCHB-1); Lt. Jacob Grimes from NAVSUP GLS Norfolk; Lt. Brad Sturgis, Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC); Vice Adm. William A. Brown, Deputy Commander, USTRANSCOM; Lt. Stephanie Harrison, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor; and Lt. j.g. Matthew Kelley, DLA Distribution, exchange ideas during a recent visit by Supply Corps Transportation Interns.

As NAVSUP continues to successfully streamline inventories, the transportation role within the supply chain has become increasingly important. Developing more responsive and flexible distribution strategies, tracking material in-transit, and ensuring timely delivery to warfighters are keys to the accomplishment of NAVSUP’s strategic plan. As the Navy’s supply chain managers, Supply Corps officers must attain proficiency in the transportation field to continually leverage developments in new and emerging transportation technologies. To meet this need, NAVSUP established the OPLOG Transportation internship program to train junior Supply Corps officers for future assignments in the joint transportation and operational logistics fields.

The OPLOG Transportation internship is part of the NAVSUP Operational Logistician Career Development Program established in August 2007 and consists of specializations in transportation, petroleum, planning, joint logistics, and special warfare. Each intern must complete an extensive list of both OPLOG and specialized training requirements during their two-year assignment, to include classroom training, computer-based training, and developmental assignments. The USTRANSCOM visit is part of the Transportation intern’s mandatory list of developmental assignments. To supplement classroom training, interns are required to complete developmental assignments at various combatant commands, transportation brigades, and mobility offices. These assignments are designed to provide basic hands-on experience and knowledge of the roles these organizations play in transportation management and material movement in times of peace and war. As the single manager for global air, land, and sea transportation for the DOD, no other command plays a larger role in material movement than USTRANSCOM.

Established in 1987, USTRANSCOM is a unified, functional combatant command providing a full-spectrum of global mobility solutions and related enabling capabilities to the eight other U.S. combatant commands. They do this with the help of military, commercial, and international partners, living up to their motto “Together, we deliver!” The interns traveled to its headquarters on Scott Air Force Base from each of the five Transportation internship assignments and included Lt. Brad Sturgis, Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC), Scott Air Force Base; Lt. Jacob Grimes, NAVSUP GLS Norfolk; Lt. Kendrick Garrett, Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One (NCHB-1), Williamsburg; Lt. Stephanie Harrison, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor; and Lt.j.g. Matthew Kelley, DLA Distribution Norfolk. Vaughn Stocker, NAVSUP GLS liaison to USTRANSCOM, organized the intern visit along with Transportation intern Lt. Brad Sturgis.

From top left clockwise - Lt. j.g. Matthew Kelley, DLA Distribution; Vice Adm. William Brown, Deputy Commander, USTRANSCOM; Lt. Jacob Grimes from NAVSUP GLS; Lt. Stephanie Harrison, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor; Lt. Kendrick Garrett from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One (NCHB-1); and Lt. Brad Sturgis, Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC) discuss transportation issues during a recent visit by Supply Corps Transportation Interns.

From top left clockwise – Lt. j.g. Matthew Kelley, DLA Distribution; Vice Adm. William Brown, Deputy Commander, USTRANSCOM; Lt. Jacob Grimes from NAVSUP GLS; Lt. Stephanie Harrison, NAVSUP FLC Pearl Harbor; Lt. Kendrick Garrett from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One (NCHB-1); and Lt. Brad Sturgis, Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC) discuss transportation issues during a recent visit by Supply Corps Transportation Interns.

The visit was filled with briefings, discussions, and training sessions encompassing USTRANSCOM’s mission, systems, and processes. After receiving a briefing on a TRANSCOM distribution component or transportation policy, the interns toured the component command or directorate responsible for that function. One of the component commands the interns toured was the Surface Deployment & Distribution Command (SDDC). SDDC is a unique Army command responsible for commercial surface lift and is the primary surface distribution manager for USTRANSCOM. Scott Wadyko, Chief of Movement Assessments & Integration, led the interns on the tour of SDDC’s Operations department. The tour included a walkthrough and brief of the Command Operation Center, a 24 hour manned directorate responsible for managing the command’s critical role of delivering world-class, origin-to-destination distribution solutions.

The interns also had the opportunity to meet and talk with the drafters of the Global Campaign Plan for Distribution (GCP-D) 9033. GCP-D 9033, which is in its first year of execution, has shaped the Global Distribution Network (GDN) by identifying key transportation and infrastructure issues before they affect the distribution network. Led by Supply Corps Capt. Michelle Morse, execution of GCP-D 9033 is USTRANSCOM’s number one priority.

“Our purpose is to ensure an agile, scalable, and resilient GDN; thereby preserving the warfighters’ freedom of action,” said Capt. Morse, USTRANSCOM J5 Chief of Plans. Operations and activities created under this plan will develop options addressing distribution redundancy to alleviate single points of failure and the use of partner-nation distribution capacity to support DOD top priority plans.

The interns also participated in series of office calls with senior Supply Corps officers. The senior Supply Corps officer engagements acted as a capstone event and included questions and answers that helped connect the policies and functions of USTRANSCOM with the role of Supply Corps officers as the Navy’s supply chain and logistic managers. The intern’s final office call was with one of the Navy’s most senior Supply Corps officers, Vice Adm. William A. Brown, USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander. Vice Adm. Brown emphasized why it is important for the interns to take their operational logistics and transportation knowledge forward into the fleet. Brown also highlighted the skills transportation logisticians learn working with other agencies.

“Something as simple as flying cargo over other countries is not easy and requires an interagency approach to work through the challenge of access to get the permissions required,” Vice Adm. Brown said. “It takes coordinating requirements at the State Department and Department of Defense at different levels – not just at the combatant command level, but at higher levels across the U.S. government” Brown continued.

After the office call with Vice Adm. Brown, the interns departed for their commands with a better understanding of USTRANSCOM’s organization, functions, and responsibilities worldwide and their use of both military and commercial transportation resources. “I’m greatly impressed with USTRANSCOM’s efficient operations and execution of a mission with such enormous size and scope.” said Lt. Jacob Grimes, Transportation intern at NAVSUP GLS Norfolk.

While Transportation interns will receive substantial formal education, their successful temporary assignments to combatant commands, hardware systems command offices, and other operational commands continue to prove to be an integral element of the program.

By Lt. Brad Sturgis, Operational Logistics Transportation Intern; U.S. Transportation Command