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Gathering of logisticians is milestone in streamlining DOD's distribution system

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., (USTCNS) --- Logisticians from throughout the services and DOD agencies met here Dec. 11, for the first time as the Distribution Transformation Task Force (DTTF), a key element the Secretary of Defense-ordered transformation of the nation's defense distribution system.

In September, Secretary Rumsfeld designated the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) as Distribution Process Owner (DPO), with responsibility to direct and supervise execution of the strategic distribution system. This initial DTTF meeting provided the DPO an opportunity to discuss his top priorities in meeting the SECDEF's direction, in collaboration with all key stakeholders in the end-to-end distribution pipeline.

"SECDEF has empowered this command to improve DOD distribution. To that end, I intend to harness your collective wisdom and partnership to help us achieve the objective, quickly and efficiently," Gen. John W. Handy, commander, USTRANSCOM, said. "That's why you're here; the only thing that matters: success."

USTRANSCOM Deputy Commander, Lt.Gen. Gary Hughey, chairs the DTTF and led group responsibility and tasking discussions.

"Transformation, is the operative word," Hughey said shifting to an emphasis on cooperation. "None of us can accomplish this alone - I think we've all tried."

The DTTF will drive distribution process improvements and advise Gen. Handy of those opportunities that best enhance the "factory-to-foxhole" distribution system. Participants in the initial DTTF meeting were a "Who's Who" of senior military logisticians, including representatives of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the services, combatant commands and many DOD agencies.

The designation of USTRANSCOM as DPO marks the first time in DOD history that a military command has been vested with the authority to improve DOD's distribution system.

"Designating a combatant commander as DPO gives us a clarity of purpose never seen before," Gen. Handy said.

One of the DTTF's top priorities is improving theater distribution by tearing down what Gen. Handy characterized as, " …the wall that currently divides the strategic and theater distribution segments."

A first step in this process, Gen. Handy said, is deployment of the "Deployment Distribution Operations Center - Forward" (DDOC-FWD), a joint initiative that will deploy trained information technology-equipped logistics specialists into a theater of operations to improve command and control of the distribution process. The DDOC-FWD will synchronize deployment and distribution, while optimizing strategic and operational lift capabilities for the combatant commander.

The newly formed DDOC-FWD will deploy in January 2004 for a 90-day pilot project to the Central Command area of responsibility. Following a successful pilot program, USTRANSCOM, U.S. Army Materiel Command and our other distribution stakeholders will work to institutionalize DDOC-FWD capabilities.

USTRANSCOM was established in 1987. It coordinates commercial and military transportation assets worldwide, in peace and war. The Air Mobility Command, the Military Traffic Management Command and the 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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