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43 countries gather in Illinois for logistics symposium

U.S. Transportation Command International Logistics Symposium attendees participate in a small-group discussion June 13, at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. (U.S. Transportation Command photo by Brien Vorhees)

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Global power projection and our global mobility posture are enabled by a robust network of allies and partners, Commander of U.S. Transportation Command Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost said today at the 2023 International Logistics Symposium.


More than 140 attendees representing 43 countries attended the symposium at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, June 13-15. During this, they discussed shared logistics challenges and opportunities to remove barriers.


“Your commitment to strengthening relations is key to our combined success,” Van Ovost said. “We must adapt together to keep our bond formidable and achieve global logistical resiliency.”


At the symposium, the attendees also discussed opportunities to incorporate ally and partner perspectives, competencies and advantages to meet today’s rapid global deployment needs.


“[This symposium] is of the utmost importance,” said Air Force Col. Angel Santiago, USTRANSCOM’s liaison officer to U.S. Southern Command. “As a liaison to SOUTHCOM, working within a combatant command and realizing that, especially in an environment where contested logistics is present every day, we can’t do it alone.”



According to USTRANSCOM Senior Foreign Policy Advisor Bryan Hunt, two challenges shared globally are limited supply chains and just-in-time delivery, shortfalls made evident since the pandemic.


“With the pandemic receding, there is a grave concern [of returning] to delivery models of the previous decade,” Hunt said. “This is why the United States and many other countries are adopting legislation encouraging domestic production of key products or near-shore production of critical goods.


“[This] legislation represents an effort to encourage critically needed supply chain diversification, and I would expect that similar incentives will be adopted by many other countries,” he continued.


During the event, attendees collaborated in structured sessions, during breaks and informal conversations; one of the attendees, Mexican navy Lt. j.g. Gerardo Diaz, head of maintenance of land vehicles, said that the views and cultures shared are invaluable to broadening their perspectives.


“I liked the opportunity to exchange experiences and lessons learned with other logisticians from around the world, look at the global challenges that affect international logistics and how we can tackle them, Diaz said.


As the symposium closed, Van Ovost offered thanks and appreciation to those able to attend.


“As logisticians, we never shy away from tough problems,” Van Ovost said. “We will help solve the hard problems by taking action, thinking differently, and leading boldly. The partnerships and teamwork I have seen in this symposium and our shared work have been impressive.


“Thank you for investing your time here together,” the general continued. “I hope you leave with deepened relationships with these world logistics leaders and the personal satisfaction that what you do, your profession, makes a difference militarily and economically for your nation.”


About USTRANSCOM


U.S. Transportation Command is a warfighting combatant command that projects and sustains military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, USTRANSCOM 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 multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.


Editor’s note: The video of this event can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oQkF14fRKA

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