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USTRANSCOM to deploy expertise - 1st step in synchronizing distribution pipeline set for mid-January

WASHINGTON, DC (USTCNS) --- A first step in synchronizing the DOD distribution pipeline will be establishment in mid-January of the "Deployment and Distribution Operations Center" (DDOC) deployed to U.S. Central Command, according to General John W. Handy, commander of the United States Transportation Command.

Gen. Handy said the establishment and deployment of the DDOC is one of the first actions resulting from the Secretary of Defense's order in September, designating USTRANSCOM as DOD Distribution Process Owner (DPO). As DPO, the combatant command will direct and supervise strategic distribution and synchronize all participants in the end-to-end supply, transportation and distribution pipeline.

The DDOC also will include a deployable team of logistics experts that will take USTRANSCOM's operational structure into theater, under tactical control of the combatant commander.

"These experts will go forward -- completely tied into the information technology, materiel and transportation management systems we have in DOD today - and nest itself into an existing organization, not a new one," Gen. Handy explained.

The DDOC experts, he said, will be under the tactical control of the CENTCOM Commander and would be deployed overseas with power and authority to direct air and seaport operations and cross-country moves in the theater, something that was not possible before the Secretary of Defense DPO designation.

Speaking to more than 450 commercial, governmental and academic logistics leaders attending the "Defense Logistics 2003" conference in Washington, D.C., Gen. Handy said this first action to synchronize and streamline DOD distribution is built on commercial partnerships and continuing adaptation of cutting-edge technology.

"We're now responsible for the same things for which commercial industry is responsible… we're taking a page from their 'best-practices' playbook," Gen. Handy said.

The designation of USTRANSCOM as DPO marks the first time in DOD history that authoritative capability for distribution has been passed to a subordinate organization. "Designating a combatant commander as DPO gives us a clarity of purpose never seen before," Gen. Handy said.

Gen. Handy said the scope of the DPO designation realigns USTRANSCOM's traditional port-to-port or theater-to-theater operational bracket, "The next step is total synchronization: integrating deployment and sustainment concepts into that very visible supply pipeline from factory to foxhole."

"When everyone in the pipeline can see what's in it, performance to customer improves; the warfighter's confidence in sustainment increases, suppliers assume financial risks based on real consumption and eliminated duplications in services save taxpayer money," Gen. Handy said.

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.

USTRANSCOM has moved more than 1 million passengers and more than 2.75 million tons of cargo in support of the global war on terrorism.

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