Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command leaders are looking to the future with plans to modernize infrastructure, technology, skillsets and diversity to support next-generation capabilities.
Maj. Gen. Heidi Hoyle, SDDC commanding general, and members of her senior staff gathered this week with Gen. Edward Daly, Army Materiel Command commanding general, to discuss topics that will impact the command’s strategic readiness.
Over the next four years, the command will invest in mission-critical infrastructure at the military ocean terminals, upgrading facilities for the future and sustaining an acceptable baseline of work from which U.S. Army forces can rapidly surge. This includes installing cranes, adding ammunition holding pads and installing lightning protection.
“This past May, we received the official delivery of Wharf 2 at [Military Ocean Terminal Concord,] said Curt Zargan, Transportation Engineering Agency deputy director.
The command’s G8, Resource Management directorate, recently began implementing robotic process automation to perform labor-intensive processes. RPA is software that can build, deploy and manage software robots that emulate work performed by humans interacting with digital systems.
According to Kevin Cockrell, SDDC Resource Management director, the bots can do things like understand what’s on a screen, complete the right keystrokes, navigate systems, identify and extract data, and perform a wide range of defined actions faster and more consistently than people.
Over the last six month, the bots have already shown a reduction in labor hours. Over the next couple years, the team will continue to work with the contractors to customize the bots to the command’s mission needs.
The command’s leaders are not just focused on infrastructure and technology but also SDDC’s people. The command team is ensuring its Total-Force team has the right skillsets and diversity in thought to be effective at all echelons.
The command’s Transportation Engineering Agency team is taking a look at how rail crews are structured and where they are located to better align the unit’s mission and structure to known current and future surge requirements. The force design update could include contractors along with support from the Deployment Support Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command.
“I love the fact that you all have immersed yourself in it, and you want to fix this long term,” said Daly.
SDDC is looking to the future to create a diverse, high-performing workforce through its newly chartered Diversity and Inclusion Council. Its members facilitate the SDDC commander’s vision of achieving a workforce culture of inclusion and diversity and belonging throughout the command. The council, made up of members from the headquarters and its brigade, engages in proactively building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive environment for the entire workforce.
“This is huge,” said Daly about the SDDC’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. “There is power in diverse organizations.”
Daly and his senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Alberto Delgado, made it clear that people are their priority by recognizing five Surface Warriors for outstanding performance.
As SDDC’s leaders continue to plan for the future to ensure Surface Warriors integrate next-generation technologies across the enterprise, maintain readiness, and fight and win the Nation’s wars as a member of the Joint Force, the Army’s priorities of People, Modernization and Readiness remain constant.