SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (USTCNS) --- Managing a new Department of Defense supply chain will require the cooperation and best ideas of corporate and academic America, according to General John Handy, commander, United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM).
"I'm looking for anything or anybody who's willing to put their brain into the problem," Gen. Handy told members of Saint Louis University's Consortium for Supply Chain Management Studies, and added, "We need you and the people you represent to work on the supply chain management process for the Department of Defense as hard as you intend to do it for your companies and corporations."
In September, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed USTRANSCOM as Distribution Process Owner (DPO) to provide supply chain management for the Department of Defense. In October the command completed the Secretary's first milestone of developing a charter through which USTRANSCOM will synchronize and consolidate supply chain management from factory to foxhole.
Gen. Handy explained that DPO designation expands the command's role, which previously bracketed only port-to-port transportation of materiel and personnel. He said the new role, which encompasses deployment, sustaining those deployed and redeployment, will require total visibility by all of its users, "The sustainment phase, the distribution management piece, the supply management challenge we face, is linking the IT (information technology) and all the players," he said.
Supply chain management requires " …keeping the supply chain disgorged, cleaned out, so we don't have to buy, acquire and keep it full because there's lack of customer confidence, lack of visibility. That reality will turn into savings for our shareholders, the taxpayer," he said.
The Consortium, part of Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business, provides research into global supply chain management and training seminars.
Gen. Handy was keynote speaker Oct. 24 to the more than 150 corporate and academic representatives and graduate students attending the Consortium's "Fifth Annual Conference on the Roles of Logistics in Supply Chain."
The Scott AFB-based combatant command is continuing consultation with the services, combatant commanders, defense agencies and industry to coordinate its new responsibilities.
USTRANSCOM was established in 1987. It coordinates commercial and military transportation assets worldwide, in peace and war. The Air Force Air Mobility Command, the Army Military Traffic Management Command and the Navy Military Sealift Command are USTRANSCOM components.