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Army logistics symposium examines future large joint-force deployment operations

Lt. Gen. John Sullivan, U.S. Transportation Command deputy commander, provides senior leader insight during the Deployment and Distribution Synchronization Symposium at the Force Flow Conference Center on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, January 10, 2024. (U.S. Army photo by Rob Wieland)

Maj. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, commanding general, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, provides opening remarks during the command’s Deployment and Distribution Synchronization Symposium at the Force Flow Conference Center on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, January 10, 2024. SDDC’s D2S2 improves future large joint-force deployment operations (U.S. Army photo by Rob Wieland)

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command kicked off the new year by hosting its annual Deployment and Distribution Synchronization Symposium, or D2S2, here Jan. 10-11 to synchronize requirements to support a large joint-force deployment operation in a contested environment.


The mission of this year’s event is to integrate and synchronize stakeholders across the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise to operationalize the intent of the National Defense Strategy dynamic force employment in support of large-scale combat operations.


“We are here to have candid conversations on how to make the JDDE better, find the friction points, and improve future large force deployment operations,” said Army Maj. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, SDDC commanding general.


The D2S2 is a collaborative event attended by senior staff representatives from U.S. Transportation Command, Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army Forces Command to name a few, and was well attended by our commercial sea and land industry partners — referred to as the "fourth component" due to their ability to act as a force multiplier.


Nearly 100 senior service members, civilians and industry partner leaders from across the logistics enterprise attended the event.


Following introductory comments, an intelligence briefing set the scene and prepared the team to further discuss projecting combat power in a contested environment.


“The capacity that our fourth component brings to us is absolutely instrumental to our ability to accomplish our mission,” said Army Lt. Gen. John Sullivan, deputy commander, U.S. Transportation Command.


Sullivan also emphasized how no one is more invested in providing support to the Joint Force than our fourth component partners and the Surface Warriors at SDDC.


Two panel discussions served as cornerstones for each day’s activities; the day one panel featured installation transportation officers providing their perspectives on friction points at the base levels, while the second day’s panel, comprised of commercial partners representing ports, rail, over the road trucking, and sealift, provided their perspectives on supporting the Department of Defense.


Both of the panel discussions were moderated by retired Army Maj. Gen. Kurt Ryan. Ryan previously served as SDDC’s 20th commanding general from 2016 to 2018.


Army Lt. Gen. Christopher Mohan, deputy commanding general of Army Materiel Command, began the second day’s agenda virtually by providing his thoughts about projecting national military power into a contested environment when we know our adversaries will challenge us every step of the way.


Lawrence concluded the second day of the D2S2 with closing comments that validated the event’s success.


“Thank you for all the hard work,” remarked Lawrence, “I truly believe that we have identified friction points within the JDDE and now have a clearer path forward.”


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