Logisticians gather to synchronize joint-force deployment planning
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Logisticians gather to synchronize joint-force deployment planning
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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.--The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command hosted its annual Deployment and Distribution Synchronization Symposium, or D2S2, here Feb. 26-28 to collaborate on the requirements to support a large joint-force deployment operation.

The purpose of the D2S2 was to bring together logisticians from across the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise who, on a daily basis, work to deploy units in support of our nation's objectives.

"We want everyone in the same room to identify and solve the challenges we may face during the deployment of a large joint force," said Scott Vaughan, an SDDC logistics management specialist and lead planner for the symposium.

The symposium theme, "Achieving S.P.E.E.D. at Scale," referred to SDDC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen's direction for the command.

"Speed is our organizational guiding principle," said Farmen. "That means everything that we do has to have a speed factor to it--speed of war, speed of decision-making, speed of documentation, speed of assembly--and if we all get it right, we move at the speed of relevance."

D2S2 attendees included senior leaders and logistics planners from SDDC, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command, SDDC's Deployment Support Command, and SDDC's Transportation Engineering Agency; leaders from SDDC's Continental U.S.-based 596th and 597th Transportation Brigades; as well as representatives from SDDC's fourth component--commercial carriers and industry partners.

Cheryl Freeman, SDDC ombudswoman, highlighted the significance of building and maintaining strong relationships with the fourth component, "The strong partnerships we have with our commercial carriers and industry partners provide the catalyst for us to successfully move, deploy and sustain the Armed Forces."

Commercial partners from the rail and motor freight industries provided updates about the capabilities, challenges and opportunities they experience when supporting joint force deployment and distribution missions.

Additionally, representatives from the 596th and 597th Transportation Brigades discussed the integral role of strategic seaports and the challenges and requirements they face when supporting large-scale surface movements.

Lt. Col. Gordon Vincent, a battalion commander from the 597th Transportation Brigade, explained how the fourth component is key to his brigade's ability to operate from multiple ports simultaneously and facilitate movement of multiple units through the strategic seaports.

"We operate from 30-plus CONUS seaports when moving the joint force," said Vincent, "and I have to thank our industry partners for their reach and ability to help us do what we do."

At the end of the event, SDDC's senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Rocky L. Carr, provided his perspective on the symposium.

"I can feel the passion in the room when we move the joint force to a fight," said Carr. "It's fantastic the way the joint deployment and distribution enterprise comes together."