All-female IG team increased SDDC’s readiness

By Sgt. Maj. Talya C. McKnightDecember 12, 2023

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command a contract support oversight inspection.
Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command a contract support oversight inspection. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

For the first time in Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s history, an all-female inspector general team conducted a contract support oversight inspection. The inspection took place over a four-month period and included the command’s headquarters, its five brigades, and six battalions geographically dispersed around the world.

“As inspectors general, it is our job to help commanders increase their unit’s readiness and warfighter capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Tera Lerch, SDDC command inspector general. “Inspections are one of the ways we get after that goal.”

Lerch led the team, and Sgt. Maj. Talya McKnight, from the command’s IG office, supplemented the inspection and conducted staff assistance visits. Dr. Tara Phelps-Jones was the lead inspector, and Mrs. Patti Wingreen, management and program analyst, served as a subject matter expert.

The team conducted the inspection to assess compliance of the SDDC enterprise with the command policy memorandum, SDDC Policy and Standards for Contracting Officer’s Representatives.

“The IG plays a vital role in the organizational inspection plan, and IG inspections allow the command to conduct honest internal assessments,” said Phelps-Jones.

In addition to the contract support oversight inspection, Lerch and McKnight provided the workforce with an overview of the SDDC Inspector General program, offered open-door sessions to employees, and conducted office calls with senior leaders at each inspection location.

The team increased SDDC’s readiness by providing impartial, objective, and unbiased advice and oversight to the command’s Surface Warriors.

As a key member of the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, SDDC is the Army service component command to the U.S. Transportation Command and a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. SDDC's mission is to plan, coordinate, and synchronize global end-to-end deployment and distribution services to project and sustain our nation’s Warfighters in support of national objectives. With approximately 5,200 people, SDDC books, ships, tracks, and conducts port operations for surface movements worldwide by leveraging services from the commercial transportation industry, including sealift, trucking, and rail.