Armor & Mobility

AUG 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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coordination with our defense, interagency, and commercial partners, we are working fervently to maintain open supply chains in support of our warfighters. I know we can meet this challenge head on, and I remain inspired by the entire USTRANSCOM team's dedication and drive to make our processes, procedures, systems, and platforms better every day. A&M: How is USTRANSCOM working to bolster cooperation with Joint Service and Industry? Gen. McDew: USTRANSCOM partners with Joint Service and industry to maximize a broad range of military and industry capabilities to deliver an immediate force tonight and a decisive force when needed. I often refer to the commercial industry as our 'fourth component' as a large portion of our distribution is executed by our industry partners, both in peace and in war. USTRANSCOM's senior leaders regularly interact with interagency and industry leaders to ensure we're aligned with current trends and technology –whether it's drafting our problem statements in cooperation with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), or introducing an initiative to harden our data which is shared on military and commercial networks, by prioritizing innovation and collaboration to advance our logistics capabilities. At the action-officer level, we leverage the incredible expertise within the commercial enterprise to improve innovation and agility across all levels of our organization. Together with our component commands, our team partners with organizations like the National Defense Transportation Association, which provides a forum to address common interests and ensure the logistics enterprise remains at the leading edge of innovative thinking on force projection. We also participate in executive working groups, industry days, and coordinate with the Department of Transportation on our Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA), Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), and surface trucking and rail networks. We remain keenly focused on building, sustaining, and strengthening partnerships to bolster our logistical capability and modality across the services and in partner with industry. It is by, with, and through these critical relationships that we provide a broad range of options to the President and deliver national objectives. A&M: Are there technologies USTRANSCOM sees as playing a key role in your future operations specifically autonomous logistics vehicles equipped with cybersecurity tools and how they would be integrated? Gen. McDew: Although our joint and commercial partners remain critical to maximizing support to the warfighter, providing the best support possible also requires us to capitalize on opportunities to improve our equipment and our systems. One of my priorities is advancing our cyber domain capabilities in which technology plays a critical role. We are examining our cyber vulnerabilities to determine how best to protect our critical supply lines and personnel movements, particularly in our sharing of information with our commercial partners. Our first step in this process is to leverage existing technologies and modernize our network by migrating our systems to the cloud-based networks. However, the protection of our data provides the lens for our modernization efforts, which will require innovative, practical, and measurable solutions, and advanced technologies. Though the future remains uncertain, we know with certainty that our ability to provide mission assurance in a contested cyber environment will be the difference between winning and losing on tomorrow's battlefield. We are also looking at the ways in which autonomy can augment our current capabilities. Our initial assessment is that autonomous vehicles have the potential to affect the number of pilots, sailors, and drivers we need to perform some of our most critical functions. Industry is already developing this expertise, and one of the things we've learned from our partners is that a robust, autonomous delivery network requires global situational awareness. Maintaining world-wide visibility requires data feeds, digital protections, information sharing, communications platforms, and a myriad of other capabilities to col- lect, transmit, and manage that information. A large quantity of useful information already exists; it's how we harness that information and analyze it that will facilitate accurate decision making at the speed of war and enable our ability to capitalize on emerging technologies. A&M: Any closing thoughts? Gen. McDew: Despite our successes with digital networks, industry partnership, and advances in technology, we still face many challenges in the days, months, and year ahead. We have already seeing a shift in focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a strategic environment challenged by emerging threats. These trans-regional threats require greater flexibility in our thought processes and ultimately, in our capabilities. As a global distribution network provider, our challenge remains delivering national objectives on any battlefield anywhere in the world, today and tomorrow. The ability to answer the call –wherever and whenever needed– lies in our workforce. Make no mistake, we, along with the rest of the Department of Defense, are competing for talent with Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies. It's our charge to recruit, train, and retain the best talent America has to offer in our military and civilian work- force. Only by increasing our talent pool will we garner the agility to meet the complex demands of tomorrow. Today, I see the perseverance of USTRANSCOM through its dedicated men and women, and I can't thank them enough for pushing this command forward. It's what we've done for 30 years, and it's what we'll keep doing to overcome complexi- ties posed by future demands. Gen. McDew greets deployed members of the 768th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron during a recent visit to the USAFRICOM area of responsibility. (USTRANSCOM) LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE www.tacticaldefensemedia.com Armor & Mobility | August 2017 | 13

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