SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - A team, comprised of members of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s Transportation Engineering Agency, U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Distribution Process Analysis Center and Air Mobility Command’s Studies, Analyses and Assessments Directorate, was presented with the U.S. Army’s Operational Analysis Study Award during a ceremony September 14 at the 2022 Army Operations Research Symposium held at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.
The unique part of the award is that they weren’t even nominated for it, but the governing body was so impressed with their accomplishments, they decided to present the team with a higher-level award.
“The award judging panel found the study so compelling and the operational impacts so superior that they made a command decision to recognize you with a different award than you were nominated for,” said SDDC Commanding General Major General Gavin A. Lawrence in a letter he presented to the winners. “In the course of achieving this well-deserved honor, you have set a high standard for performance within this command.”
The Mobility Capability Requirements Study 2020 applied updated Globally Integrated Base Plans and warranted Defense Planning Scenarios to assess the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise's ability to support National Defense Strategy competition and wartime missions, according to the nomination packet.
“The study was especially innovative in advancing the joint community's knowledge on operating within the contested environments in terms of understanding great power adversary capabilities to interdict strategic mobility, affect the timing of force flow into theater, and the impact on the campaign,” said Bruce Busler, SES, the director of TEA and JDPAC.
The study was delivered to Congress on June 30, 2021, and briefed to members of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as senior leaders in the Department of the Army.
“The results of the study significantly impacted the Department's understanding of the importance of strategic mobility in successfully surging to achieve NDS objectives in all domains,’ said Busler.
“The study was instrumental during the Program Budget Review, where the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the Services to fund (approximately) $2.8B for mobility forces - including strategic airlift, air refueling, theater airlift, and strategic sealift. These favorable outcomes to the mobility enterprise would not have been possible without the great insights from MCRS-20,” he added.
During an interview with the National Defense Transportation Agency in 2019, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Ballew, then JDPAC Deputy and MCRS-20 Study Director, said, “the thrust of this study will be an assessment of the programmed airlift aircraft, air refueling aircraft, sealift ships, and key mobility enablers to meet the integrated mobility demands in the expected strategic environments as defined in the NDS.”
According to Ballew, the study identified any mobility capability gaps and shortfalls, described the associated risk in conducting operations, and recommend mitigation strategies where possible. It also included the near-term mobility implications of emerging warfighting concepts.
When asked for his opinion on what made the team so successful, Ballew said “the JDPAC is a matrixed organization that integrates the analytic capabilities of USTRANSCOM, SDDC TEA, and AMC/A9. As such, it is commonplace for JDPAC professionals, who administratively fall under one of those three organizations, to work together on a study to analyze and provide key findings regarding operational problems that impact our Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise.”
“My job as Study Director was made much easier because of the incredibly hard working, dedicated experts that made up the team. Their comprehensive understanding of this enterprise and ability to translate detailed analysis into consumable senior leader products is truly impressive,” he added.