U.S. Transportation Command celebrates 20th anniversary
In a Defense Department proclamation, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recognized the role USTRANSCOM has played in supporting the warfighter.
"Without your often heroic efforts, America's armed forces would be incapable of the amazingly rapid deployability and fighting stamina that make us the premier military force in the world."
USTRANSCOM has moved more than 3 million passengers, 7.9 million tons of cargo and delivered more than 3.8 billion gallons of fuel in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as of July 2006.
The keynote speaker for the anniversary ceremony was retired Air Force Gen. Duane Cassidy, the first USTRANSCOM commander-in-chief. Cassidy praised the command for its important work in providing world-class transportation services for the nation's national security and humanitarian assistance missions and encourages the command to institute a culture of innovation.
"You are only 20 years old and just getting ready for your period of peak production. You must continually seek to get better. General Schwartz, it is now all up to you for we have already laid the foundation."
Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, commander, USTRANSCOM, said, "We're justly proud of what we've done, collectively throughout the past 20 years, to serve our nation and people throughout the world. I sincerely hope that we may enjoy this wonderful day, that it will have truly meaningful significance now and especially 20 years from now."
The anniversary was held here in Hangar One with a background that included a KC-135R Stratotanker, video highlights of the command's past and present, transportation displays of component commands, equipment displays, and a performance from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America's Starlifters Band.
The celebration also included a tribute to the plank owners - those military and civilian personnel who were the first to stand up the brand new command in 1987. Other long serving members of the command include the USTRANSCOM Commander Executive Secretary, Vance Huller, who has served under all eight USTRANSCOM commanders.
The celebration concluded with the presentation of items for a time capsule by the various directorates and the component commands of USTRANSCOM, which will remain secured until the next recognition ceremony.
USTRANSCOM is the Department of Defense's transportation manager and provider. In this capacity, USTRANSCOM is the Distribution Process Owner, responsible for the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the defense transportation network.
USTRANSCOM's component commands are the Navy's Military Sealift Command in Washington, D.C., and the Air Force's Air Mobility Command, and the Army's Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, both located here.. USTRANSCOM has an annual budget of $10 billion dollars and a workforce of 51,000 active duty personnel, 86,000 reservists and guard members, and 17,000 civilian employees.
USTRANSCOM traces its origin from the Joint Deployment Agency established by the Joint Chiefs of Staff at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., in 1979. The mission of the agency was to serve as the single manager for deployment and execution of U.S. troops.
The mission gradually evolved, and USTRANSCOM was formally established by President Reagan on April 18, 1987. Cassidy was named the first commander-in-chief of USTRANSCOM, and the formal activation ceremony occurred on Oct. 1,
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