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USTRANSCOM commander testifies before House Armed Services Committee

Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III took questions from the House Armed Services Committee Mar. 7, 2012

WASHINGTON – Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander, U.S. Transportation Command, addressed members of the House Armed Services Committee today.

“It is my distinct privilege to be here with you today representing the United States Transportation Command,” Fraser said.  “We are a total force team of approximately 150,000 men and women, military and civilian, dedicated to deploying, sustaining, and then returning home our nation’s most precious resource, our men and women in uniform.”

Fraser then spoke of the issues he faced since taking over the command late last year.

“This past year has been particularly challenging,” he said, “as our team of active duty, Guard, Reserve, civil servants, merchant mariners, and commercial partners maintained an unusually high operations tempo supporting combat operations, sustainment efforts, humanitarian relief and crisis action responses both at home and abroad.

“As we now enter a very challenging fiscal environment, focusing on capabilities needed for the 21st century as defined in the President’s Defense Strategy, our challenge is to continue to find fiscally responsible efficiencies to deliver required capability.”

Addressing questions on how USTRANSCOM will continue to support contingencies in light of proposed budget cuts, Fraser said, “We now have a new strategy.   We’ve evaluated that strategy and taken a look at the force structure that has been proposed with the strategic lift and are comfortable that it is manageable and will be able to support it as far as the combatant commander requirements go.”

The command will have greater ability and capacity with modernized extended-range C-17s, the general said.  “Coupled with 52 C-5Ms (that) actually gives us more capability and capacity,” Fraser continued.

According to Fraser, USTRANSCOM continues to take a holistic look at supporting combatant commanders in any future operations.

Answering a question on Air Force restructuring and proposed basing of Guard and Reserve assets, Fraser said, "I can't pass up this opportunity to thank and appreciate the Guard and Reserve. We very much value their contributions. We’re a total force, and we in TRANSCOM are the recipients of that on a day-to-day basis and very much value their contribution.”

Fraser talked about commercial partners and how they are aware of the decreasing airlift needs of the military. He said the carriers are beginning to plan for the future and thanked them for their continued efforts.

“We’re continuing to talk with the CEOs, and I do very much appreciate what industry has done to modernize their fleet,” Fraser said.  “About 80 percent is now modern aircraft, more fuel efficient, can carry more, can go farther, and we are deeply appreciative of that because that’s a savings to all of us.”

Fraser expressed pride in his command and all who serve.

“I have been amazed to see some of the unique capabilities that are inherent in the command, and I could not be prouder of the USTRANSCOM team and our partners,” Fraser said.  “No one in the world can match our nation’s deployment and distribution capability.  And the foundation of this enterprise is the enthusiasm, dedication, and efficiency of the USTRANSCOM team.”


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