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SDDC: Delivering on time, on target, every time

Army Staff Sgt. Gabriel Solano, 841st Transportation Battalion operations hatch foreman, directs Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the Transportation Core Dock Jan. 25, 2023, in North Charleston, South Carolina. (U.S. Transportation Command photo by Oz Suguitan)

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — When U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) needs to deliver by surface, it calls on the Surface Warriors of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC).


SDDC is the Army component command of USTRANSCOM’s logistics mission, moving combat power globally via highways, ports and rails. 


Headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, SDDC connects and synchronizes surface warfighting requirements through distribution network nodes to the point of need, responsively projecting power and delivering desired effects in support of combatant commands and the total joint force.


An M1A1 Abrams tank rolls by the 842nd Transportation Battalion Feb. 22, 2020, on its way to the Port of Beaumont in Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Kimberly Spinner)


“When you talk about some of the asymmetric advantages the Army has, I truly believe our ability to project critical combat capability to the point of need is one of the advantages we currently have and we need to fight to maintain and sustain as we compete against our near-peer competitors,” said Army Maj. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, SDDC commander.


SDDC is also responsible for delivering innovative transportation solutions on time, on target, every time. Whenever and wherever U.S. service members are deployed, the command is involved in planning and executing the surface delivery of their equipment and supplies.


Army Sgt. Amanda Rovillo, 352nd Expeditionary Terminal Operations Element movement noncommissioned officer in charge, inventories and verifies the stow position of military vehicles on board the Liberty Passion March 10, 2020, at the Naval Weapons Station in South Carolina. (U.S. Army photo by Kimberly Spinner)


With a workforce of over 5,000 military and civilian transportation professionals and nine total force transportation brigades located throughout the world, SDDC moves, deploys and sustains the armed forces to deliver readiness and meet the nation’s objectives.


“The Surface Warriors of SDDC constantly rise to the occasion,” said Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM commander, after she passed the command flag to Lawrence during SDDC’s change of command ceremony. “SDDC is essential to our nation’s ability to deploy and sustain military forces to deter our adversaries and assure our allies and partners. The members of this command help underwrite the lethality of the joint force and force our adversaries to contend with our significant logistics capabilities.”


In addition to using organic military assets, SDDC partners with the commercial transportation industry as the coordinating link between Department of Defense surface transportation requirements and the capability industry provides.


Army 1st Lt. Travon Patterson, 842nd Transportation Battalion terminal management team officer in charge, directs the staging of vehicles Feb. 19, 2020, in Port Arthur, Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Kimberly Spinner)


“We have over 300,000 trucks moving every year — we do that through building relationships with over 800 truck carriers based in the U.S.,” Lawrence said. “We have the capacity to support installation requirements, and to carry critical cargo and ammunition. 


“In conjunction with the Department of Transportation, we have a voluntary intermodal service agreement that gives us access to state of art commercial [support] to transport critical pieces of equipment via commercial liner if a military sealift vessel is not available,” Lawrence continued.


Additionally, SDDC’s Transportation Engineering Agency provides the DoD with engineering, policy guidance, research and analytical expertise, ensuring U.S. military forces can respond anywhere in the world.


“I am absolutely inspired by your service,” Lawrence said, addressing the Surface Warriors of SDDC. “I commit to you that I will give you all of my support as we collectively enable combatant commands through provision of deployment and distribution capability, on time, on target, every time.”


USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation's choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, TRANSCOM underwrites the lethality of the Joint Force, advances American interests around the globe, and provides our nation's leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options while creating numerous dilemmas for our adversaries.


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