SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – During the eighth annual, first-ever virtual, National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command Fall Meeting, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, the Honorable W. Jordan Gillis, is the conference’s initial keynoter Oct. 6.
During the conference, from Oct. 5-8, 2020, five keynote presentations, featuring senior military, government, and industry executives, will address a variety of leadership topics, including innovation, vision, resiliency, and embracing – and overcoming – disruption in the COVID-19 era.
“There’s a lot to the presentation.” said Gillis, who session is titled, “A Sustainment Vision for the Future: Embracing Innovation and Disruption to Advance.”
“A couple of things I’m going to highlight includes how COVID-19 impacted the Department of Defense’s transportation, supply chain, and logistics enterprise, as well as industry.”.
“And speaking of our commercial transportation providers, we (DoD) value their critical importance in America’s defense,” continued Gillis. “They are an essential teammate who face several challenges including economic conditions and a disruptive global environment. I’ll also talk about some DoD technology initiatives relative to our industry partners.”
In addition to Gillis, scheduled keynote speakers are U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander, USTRANSCOM; Bob Chapman, chairman and chief executive officer, Barry-Wehmiller Companies; Rami Goldratt, CEO, Goldratt Consulting; Dan Helfrich, chairman and CEO, and Heather Reilly, principal, Deloitte Consulting, Limited Liability Partnership. In addition to the keynote sessions, the event consists of three roundtable discussions and 80 interactive Transportation Academy courses.
Gillis has served in his current position since March 2020, providing oversight of logistics policies, practices, and efficiencies to enable readiness across the DoD and manages over $170 billion in logistics operations. He also leads budgetary, policy, and management oversight of the DoD’s real property portfolio, which consists of 26.5 million acres, more than 500 installations, over 600,000 buildings and assets valued at $1.2 trillion dollars.
“Regarding my Army service, it was the most valuable perspective. I saw how logistics was done in the past being a warfighter in contingency operations, which is the point of the spear,” Gillis stated. “Now, I have policy oversight and planning considerations. As a soldier, I was a passenger on one of the contracted air carriers, and was a recipient of material through the logistics network.”
A former Army field artillery officer, Gillis earned a Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart in 2008, while participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also has private-sector experience, serving initially in logistics and management – during the early days of internet retailing in the late 1990s and early 2000s – with McMaster-Carr, and then as an energy consultant with ScottMadden, Inc.
“The Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise is a vast and impressive network with truly amazing capabilities given the requirements with policy. Our organic (military) assets are working hand-in-hand with our private-sector partners. We however, need to change to be more agile, transitioning to a different kind of fight, near-peer and peer in Europe and the Pacific,” said Gillis. “The partnership between the public and private sectors, particularly with defense logistics, remains robust. The NDTA-USTRANSCOM Fall Meeting plays a critical role in sustaining and enhancing that collaboration.”
USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation’s choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, we underwrite the lethality of the Joint Force, we advance American interests around the globe, and we provide our nation's leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options, while creating multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.
Check out the Virtual Fall Meeting 2020 agenda at https://www.ndtahq.com/events/fall-meeting/agenda/.
And for more information about the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Virtual Fall Meeting 2020, visit https://www.ndtahq.com/events/fall-meeting/.