SDDC conducts Traffic Management Workshop
October 26, 2011
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (Oct. 25, 2011) -- The Major League Baseball 2011 World Series kickoff wasn't the only game in town in St. Louis, Mo., during the week of Oct. 17.
Approximately 220 military and civilian transportation managers and 120 commercial carrier representatives from around the world attended Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Traffic Management Workshop Oct. 17-20 at the Millennium Hotel, just a few blocks from Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinal's baseball team.
While Downtown St. Louis was transforming into an atmosphere of entertainment, the military's global surface transportation experts were busy sharing knowledge to take back to their forts, ports and airfields. Their goal -- improve their game, which is getting the Warfighters' equipment and supplies to them where and when it's needed.
According to Mel Holland, the director of SDDC's Strategic Business Directorate, the purpose of the workshop was to educate and train transportation and logistics personnel across the military Services and other government agencies, in grades O-4 and below, and GS-12 and below, on transportation shipping procedures, distribution trends, automated systems use, and collaborative problem resolution.
"Ultimately, the goal [of the workshop] is to provide traffic managers a forum where they can collectively deep-dive issues, receive automated systems familiarization training, and to gain knowledge on transportation policies, procedures, and initiatives. At the end of the day, we aim to build trust and collaboration amongst all stakeholders in attendance," said Holland.
SDDC's workshop offered attendees 56 sessions, including informational presentations, demonstrations and open forums. In a particularly popular breakout session, Larry Bringenberg, from SDDC's Data Integration Division, provided a demonstration of the Intransit Visibility for Surface Deployment and Distribution Cargo software, better known as ISDDC. ISDDC is the command's authoritative source for surface transportation and surface cargo intransit visibility data. The demo showed the systems robust reporting and mapping capabilities, which the transportation and logistics personnel use to track government cargo.
In addition to providing training to government personnel, for the first time much of the workshop was open for attendance by commercial carrier representatives, which allowed for knowledge sharing between the government and industry partners.
In his opening remarks, Maj. Gen. Kevin Leonard, SDDC commanding general, discussed four questions he commonly asks: Are we doing the right things? Are we doing things right? What are we missing? And, what's next? He encouraged the two groups to collaborate and share their ideas during the workshop with those questions in mind.
When asked what he gained as a commercial carrier attending the workshop, James Bullock, DHL's global manager for government and defense, said, "As a commercial carrier, it makes it easier to understand what the [transportation management officer] goes through on their end. I now have a better understanding at the top level, of how the system works, versus just seeing the broad strokes."
On Oct. 20, as the festivities of the World Series continued to swarm the streets of St. Louis, SDDC's 2011 Traffic Management Workshop quietly concluded. Amidst the town's atmosphere of excitement, the traffic managers conducted a successful workshop, arming each attendee with an improved ability to meet their goal -- getting U.S. Warfighters' the equipment and supplies they need, when and where they need it.