By Mr. Robert Wieland (SDDC)January 11, 2018
24 hours a day, seven days a week, specialists in the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC) Defense Transportation Tracking System (DTTS) operations center at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois monitor the shipment of sensitive Department of Defense cargo, ensuring the safe and continuous delivery of our Nation's critical instruments of defense.
DTTS is comprised of 18 civil service Transportation Management Specialists that are assigned to the SDDC G3 Operations directorate.
The mission of DTTS is to ensure the safe and secure transport of DOD Arms, Ammunition, and Explosives (AA&E) and Other Sensitive Material (OSM) moving via commercial truck and barge throughout the continental United States, Canada, and Alaska. This is accomplished by using satellite and cellular technology with 24-hour oversight, facilitating rapid emergency response to in-transit accidents and incidents involving AA&E and OSM and providing emergency information to DOD senior leaders.
These specialists are responsible for several critical tasks that include:
- Monitoring shipments via in-transit exception reports
- Responding to and validating panic button messages, sensor alerts, and emergency calls
- Notifying local authorities (police/fire) when necessary, and the Army Operations Center (for incidents involving munitions)
- Capturing and recording pertinent information from carrier dispatchers, drivers, first responders, shippers and receivers
- Initiating incident reports to DOD leadership
- Facilitating secure holding and safe haven locations
- Capturing shipper and carrier issues for further research and action
- Reporting metrics to the Transportation Service Providers and the Military Services
"Because we are a 24-hour shop, our schedule is pretty unforgiving," said Jessica Snyder, DTTS Program Manager.
The DTTS office operates three shifts that cover the 24-hour duty day, with each shift assigned a different amount of specialists to accommodate the projected workload. The minimum is two per shift, even during weekends, holidays, and base closures.
"The pace of the work and the nature of the mission make it difficult for DTTS operators to step away from their desks for extended periods of time," said Snyder.
"DTTS is unique in that its mission potentially impacts everyone's day-to-day lives--and most people aren't even aware. We exist to ensure the safety and security of DOD AA&E and OSM when it is in the public domain," said Snyder.
To accomplish their mission, the DTTS specialist utilize several systems on a daily basis, including the Transportation Geospatial Information System (TGIS) and Global Freight Management (GFM).
They must be familiar with the various commercial shipper systems and have a thorough knowledge of transportation policies, specifically the Defense Travel Regulation Chapter 205, and the Military Freight Traffic Unified Rules Publication to perform their daily tasks.
"The dedication and professionalism of the DTTS team is unparalleled," added Snyder. "Their commitment, their flexibility, and their sense of team allow this program to be a success."