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The Transportation Corps Strategic
Blueprint: Charting the Path of Change

for the Corps After Next

Change is constant, and embracing change starts here! The Army is transitioning, and we must understand the Army’s vision and operating concept for the next 5 to 10 to 15 years and ensure that we are prepared to support it. This begins with a systemic professional dialog and constant assessment so that when we “entrust” the continual adaptation and transformation of the Transportation Corps to the leaders of today and tomorrow, it perseveres.

Change is clearly a core competency for us, and the clock of change is turning fast. Yet, based on what I’ve seen to date and the talented professionals we have on our team, we have every
reason to look forward with strength, confidence, and optimism!

This bodes well for us, because in times of great challenges, change, and turmoil come great opportunities, and that is what I see before us now. Although we are in a period defined by tough budget constraints and force cuts, we cannot allow the current climate to dampen our spirits or,
more importantly, restrict our creativity and imagination. Now, more than ever, we need to out-think our challenges and use this time to start envisioning the future and, in some cases, reinvent, modernize, and transform ourselves to help shape that future.

Logistics is about movement and velocity, and distribution is an operational process of synchronizing all elements of the logistics system to deliver the right things to the right place at the right time. It can only be achieved if enterprise services for sustaining the force are integrated and expanded under a single network and linked in a way that delivers, governs, and tracks materiel and people and provides proper visibility and information.

Effective distribution means knowing how to connect the dots. As we develop future transportation and movement capabilities, personnel, and doctrine to support contingencies, we are uniquely suited to enhance and integrate sustainment activities in the process and to enable the operational
environment with improved flexibility, transparent support, and a connected network of sustainment.

 

Transportation Corps Vision
Our Transportation Corps Vision is:
To be a bastion of transportation innovation, adaptive training, and expertise producing people and materiel that permeate all facets of military logistics and operations with relevant vigor and spearheads logistics into the future = Integrators of Deployment and Distribution.

We are partners in Sustainment Excellence—the Spearhead of Logistics!!—A Transportation Corps transformed into an agile, adaptive institution that serves as an integrator of deployment and distribution functions within the Sustainment Warfighting Function (SWfF) in support of Combatant Commanders and other Army requirements. We work effectively with other mission partners and are strategically responsive and reliable, delivering certainty and trust across all spectrums of operations at all levels of war.

To achieve this vision, establishing collaborative partnerships within well developed networks of influence between the Transportation Corps and our mission partners will be key. Our vision requires an inclusive and integrated strategic blueprint.

The first edition (2.0) of the Transportation Corps Strategic Blueprint is the long-term outlook for the corps through 2020 and aligns with the Army Capstone Concept and the Functional Concept for Sustainment. This blueprint is organized to be evolving across lines of effort that intersect with the Army Enterprise Infrastructure and the factors of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF). Our blueprint will be promulgated using the assess, dialog, and transform construct: Think–envision–shape–set conditions–integrate–repeat.

The Chief of Transportation’s Intent
As the Chief of Transportation (COT), my intent is to connect, integrate, and deliver the transportation capabilities and capacity for movement and distribution excellence on all fronts and at all levels and to produce transporterlogisticians who are functional experts and savvy supply chain integrators. The intent is to—

  • Breed transporter-logisticians of character. They will have an imaginative and entrepreneurial spirit. They will be pioneers (pioneering the “art of the possible”). They will be inquisitive and curious while maintaining honor, integrity, and readiness. They will be integrators, warriors, diplomats, and team players. They will have the right attitude, emphasizing mindsets over skill sets.
  • Deliver trained, innovative, adaptive, and professional transporters who understand logistics.
  • Develop modern solutions that meet Soldier, combatant commander, and Army requirements.
  • Enable sustainment operations through the application of functional expertise (in deployment and distribution) in order to meet combatant commander and Army requirements.
  • Assist the Army and the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational (JIIM) community, along with our mission partners, to have an integrated movement and distribution network enabled by an interdependent Transportation Corps.

Our goal is for this to be an adaptive blueprint providing a roadmap to:

  • Develop leaders and develop the individual as a leader.
  • Enable deployment and distribution.
  • Connect the dots while executing decentralized operations.
  • Do it jointly in a JIIM context.

This blueprint provides a strategic vision of how we can engage with our mission partners to achieve not only our objectives but also the objectives and tasks directed by the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) toward 2020. We will remain the Spearhead of Logistics (Distribution) by air, land, sea, and rail for the Army and the Joint Force through active collaboration with our mission partners. These are exciting times for our sustainment community, and now more than ever our expertise at distribution nodes requires us to share and integrate the action as we plan for the future.

The Transportation Corps Mantra
We are the maneuver element of the Logistics Corps! The Transportation Corps enables movement, deployment, and distribution in support of the combatant commander and other Army requirements. Our focus is to deliver a full range of transportation capabilities in order to move critical resources rapidly (under positive control) through an integrated transportation-based global distribution system from the source to the end user.

The Transportation Corps operates under conditions of uncertainty and complexity, leveraging military, industrial, and host-nation capabilities and emerging technologies. We provide movement control and in-transit visibility and guide delivery to deployed forces across the full spectrum of operations. Our Soldiers and civilians are key to movement distribution. We are the Transportation
Corps—partners in sustainment excellence! We are Warfighters, supporting Warfighting and the Warfight.

Transportation Corps: What We Do
In conjunction with our mission partners, the Transportation Corps provides transportation capabilities to rapidly deploy and distribute forces, equipment, and materiel to Army and Joint Forces operating across the full spectrum of operations anytime, anywhere in support of the National Military Strategy.

The Transportation Corps also trains Soldiers and civilians and develops concepts and doctrine to perform transportation services and support functions for forces across the operational spectrum in a JIIM environment.

Our Mission Partners
We base our planning and transformation on the requirements and priorities of our mission partners. Our partners include, but are not limited to, the Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM); tactical, operational, and strategic sustainment headquarters; and senior sustainment leaders across the Army. In order to meet requirements, we will deliver capabilities that enable freedom of movement and end-to-end distribution across the spectrum of conflict.

Our collective goal with our mission partners is to enable a distribution and deployment network that meets the requirements of the combatant commander and other Army necessities. We will work with our partners to advocate and deliver agile resource and investment requirements for the enterprise through the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process.

The 4 Ds
Develop leaders and Develop as a leader. The Campaign of Learning is a vision launched by TRADOC in an effort to develop leaders across the force. As a part of achieving that vision, the Transportation Corps and School, with our mission partners, provides trained, innovative, adaptive, and professional leaders skilled in deployment and distribution.

Developing junior leaders with the skills to critically think and develop the situation at the lowest levels is our charge. We will do this in two ways: first, by establishing a competitive learning environment that prepares our Soldiers for today’s operating environment, and second,
through active dialog and collaboration. This support plan charges us as a corps to know who we are and what we need to be. In this increasingly complex operating environment, we need to know, understand, and be precise when moving toward our vision.

Distribution and Deployment (Shape it). The Army Operating Concept is clear in defining sustainment through 2026. It will require deploying the force, providing decentralized sustainment operations, and utilizing a Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise (JDDE). The mission and capabilities of the Transportation Corps are tightly woven into this vision.

Distribution and sustainment are cornerstones for the Sustainment Center of Excellence, and distribution is the cornerstone of the Transportation Corps. Essentially, distribution and sustainment are synonymous. The Transportation Corps, with our mission partners, will strive to produce the people and materiel that enable an integrated deployment and distribution network. This will involve
conducting systemic and systematic assessments to expose and foresee gaps in the distribution and deployment process while seeking modern solutions to bridge gaps and meet end users’ requirements, with a focus on enabling an integrated distribution network that facilitates sustainment.

Decentralized Operations (Enable it). In a complex operating environment, with a dizzying pace of technological change and a hybrid of threats, there is an increasing need for execution at the lowest levels. Future projections indicate that our Transportation Corps professionals must be even more skilled at decentralized operations.

To enable sustainment in decentralized operations, the Transportation Corps needs to produce personnel, doctrine, and materiel that inherently integrate movement activities, nodes, and different agencies and organizations in the process; the objective is to achieve unity of effort without
unity of command and to maintain precision, reliability, and velocity. This requires optimizing networks and structures at the brigade combat team and below and connecting capabilities through the process to integrate and simplify distribution management.

Do It Jointly in a JIIM context. Joint Vision 2020 specifies transportation as the key to improving deployment, distribution, and sustainment. Advanced systems will increase speed, capacity, and efficiency. Improved operational effectiveness and efficiency, combined with increasing warfighter confidence in new capabilities, will reduce sustainment requirements and vulnerabilities. Mutual trust,
reliance, and interdependence of the services and outside agencies not only achieve this goal but improve interoperability across all warfighting functions and all levels of war.

We need the capabilities to rapidly deploy and distribute forces, equipment, and materiel to Army and Joint Forces operating across the full spectrum of operations anytime, anywhere in support of the National Military Strategy and in coordination with our mission partners. To achieve these
capabilities, we must transform into an agile, adaptive institution that serves as the main effort and key integrator for the Army’s development of a unified distribution network operating in a JIIM environment. By leveraging business intelligence, digital technology, and social-networking
tools in all we do, the Transportation Corps will work with our mission partners at CASCOM, across our Army, and across the joint formation. We are inherently a joint operation—nothing happens until something moves!

To promulgate our corps into the future across the lines of effort portrayed in our Strategic Blueprint (see first chart above), the COT Focus Areas shown in the second chart above make up our main thrusts of activity. Many initiatives are embedded as sub-bullets to these broad focus areas. The third chart above amplifies those initiatives that are either completed or significantly in motion over the past year. All told, this is a participatory world we live in. We need your engagement and participation to help us shape it.

Brigadier General Stephen E. Farmen is the 26th Chief of Transportation and commandant of the Army Transportation School at Fort Lee, Virginia. He holds a B.A. degree in history from the University of Richmond and an M.A. degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He is a graduate of the Transportation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses and the Naval Command and Staff College. He attended the Joint Forces Staff College and completed a senior service college fellowship as the first military fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Transportation and Logistics. He previously served as the executive officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, Department of the Army, and as commander of the 598th Transportation Brigade (SDDC) at Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


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