NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – (Oct. 19, 2021) – In her first major keynote address since taking command, Air Force Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), discussed priorities and challenges ahead for the transportation enterprise today at the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA)-USTRANSCOM annual Fall Meeting.
Van Ovost thanked the NDTA and USTRANSCOM teams for orchestrating a “world-class logistics forum,” and said while new leadership brings a fresh perspective, “TRANSCOM’s mission is enduring and my number one priority remains the same – our warfighting readiness.”
“We do this through a warfighting framework of three elements – global posture, mobility capacity, and global command and control and integration,” Van Ovost said. “Since World War II, we have enjoyed strategic dominance in each of the three areas and we have presented our nation’s leaders with options.”
However, the general said the security environment is changing.
“We now face direct challenges across all domains, threatening our ability to deliver an immediate force tonight, and a decisive force when needed,” she said.
Discussing the enterprise’s footprint across the globe, Van Ovost said she was looking to attendees to innovate ways to prepare, package, and preposition materiel in order to improve deterrence and “progress to smaller force packages, operating from more austere places, and spanning greater distances.”
She said capacity across the air and sea was key. She committed to being “laser-focused on emphasizing a responsible ‘buy used’ strategy with the U.S. Navy,” in order to address the looming retirement of 34 of 50 vessels, and she also committed to “preserving necessary air mobility capabilities and capacity to ensure that we can deliver an immediate force tonight to meet our national security objectives.”
Finally, Van Ovost highlighted the need for resilient and agile command and control, calling it “one of my highest areas of interest and frankly, concern.” She stressed the need for cooperation and mitigation efforts.
“Our ever-growing number of cyber adversaries will be a challenge to all of us,” she said. “They have carefully studied our supply chain and transportation operations, and are actively working to disrupt and degrade logistics flows.”
Van Ovost also mentioned recent successes, such as use of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet during the historic non-combatant evacuation operations, analysis of tanker capacity, and working leading to an upcoming global household goods contract.
In closing, she referenced the meeting’s theme.
“Resilient and Reliable…Agile and Adaptable must be more than a bumper sticker,” Van Ovost said. “The future all-domain contested environment requires our logistics enterprise to be resilient and reliable. Our warfighting framework must be agile and adaptable to deter potential adversaries, and if necessary, win decisively.
“There is no second place when it comes to our national defense.”
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 multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.
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