Recently, the Joint Munitions Command and the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command partnered to conduct a truck-surge shipping exercise, using real-world sustainment requirements to emulate a contingency-type surge. The purpose of this exercise was for JMC and SDDC to evaluate shipping and receiving processes at JMC Depots and the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, while also testing the capability of the carrier industry to support a large volume of truck requirements in a condensed timeframe. During the exercise, six JMC depots executed the shipment of 388 containers on 341 trucks, coordinating in advance with the carriers to ensure delivery from all locations into MOTSU within a three-day window. JMC depots successfully demonstrated their ability to synchronize efforts within their installations to receive trucks, load them, and push out a large volume of containerized munitions in a compressed timeframe. This exercise allowed JMC to evaluate the commercial motor carrier industry’s ability to provide a large volume of flatbeds at multiple locations across the country and explore possible ideas for future exercises. Lessons learned are now driving analysis into the number of flatbeds across the enterprise and the effect that may have on contingency type outloads in the future.
Additionally, a member of JMC’s Transportation Office deployed to the port during the cargo reception window to work alongside MOTSU staff and serve as the JMC Port Liaison Officer. The LNO’s role was to help the port staff track inbound shipments from JMC installations, address shipment issues as they arrived at the port, and report status updates daily back to HQ JMC. The Port LNO spearheaded JMC’s efforts to exercise mission command during the exercise by synchronizing the movement of munitions to MOTSU and maintaining a common operating picture to report progress daily through the JMC Operations Center. A key takeaway from this exercise was the need for standardized reporting procedures across all commands; this will ensure seamless reporting of daily transportation data between the different organizations involved.
The 2020 Truck Surge Exercise was another example of the first-rate communication and partnership between JMC, SDDC and the commercial truck industry. Many lessons were captured from this exercise and shared among HQ JMC, JMC Depots, HQ SDDC, MOTSU, and the truck industry. These lessons will be used to improve shipping processes and to expand on future exercises.