Military cargo booking centralized at SDDC HQs

By Sarah GarnerOctober 16, 2013

Cargo booking centralized at SDDC HQs
Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson, Commanding General, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Col. Glenn Baca, SDDC G3, and Richard Smith, Chief, SDDC Central Booking Office cut a cake during a launch ceremony for a newly established Ce... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCOTT AFB, Ill., - Beginning Oct. 15, U. S. military cargo movements requiring international commercial ocean liner and multimodal transportation services will be booked through a newly established Centralized Booking Office at the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's headquarters at Scott Air Force Base.

Unit, retrograde, foreign military sales, humanitarian assistance and sustainment cargo was previously booked by personnel assigned to SDDC's brigades in locations around the globe and at the headquarters.

SDDC has five subordinate brigades, which are aligned with the geographic combatant commands' areas of operations.

"Centralizing booking is the first step in aligning SDDC's business processes to our 2015 goals," said Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson, SDDC Commanding General. "This gives the headquarters enterprise visibility and allows the brigades to work directly with customers on requirements and best use their resources to ensure quality assurance of the contracts in their areas of operation."

SDDC's business process formula for managing the transportation of cargo for the military services is known as POST-PB, which stands for Plan, Order, Ship, Track, Pay and Bill. The establishment of the CBO aligns to the Order portion of the POST-PB process and will provide a more streamlined approach to the way cargo is booked, according to Richard Smith, chief, CBO.

The transition of the booking process will begin with the CBO taking over the booking functions previously managed by the 599th Transportation Brigade at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii, for the U.S. Pacific Command area of operation. After that transition, the CBO will assume the booking responsibility for SDDC's other brigades by 2014.

Brigade personnel who previously booked cargo will now perform the role of requirement validator, ensuring data integrity of shipment requests, the transportation feasibility of cargo and quality assurance of the contracts to meet the needs of the customers.

Cargo will continue to be booked through SDDC's web-based, automated Integrated Booking System, designed and managed by SDDC's Information Management Directorate.

"The transition will be complete and booking fully centralized by April 2014. It will be a transparent process. The only change to the customer is they will be dealing with new names and faces," said Smith.

SDDC manages 87 percent of the cargo coming out of Afghanistan, with the 595th Trans. Bde. being the critical node in the region. In its key role as the air-surface integrator, SDDC orchestrates the multi-modal transportation operations being used to get cargo in and out of Afghanistan.

The command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is composed of active and Reserve military and civilian personnel stationed all over the world. SDDC accomplishes this mission by patterning with the best of U.S. commercial shipping, port, air, trucking and rail services to deliver cargo to every corner of the globe supporting Department of Defense contingencies, exercises and humanitarian aid missions.