By Michael P. Kleiman, U.S. Transportation Command Public Affairs
/ Published September 25, 2020
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason France moderates the Senior Enlisted Leader roundtable at the National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command Fall Meeting 2019, Monday, Oct. 7, at St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, St. Louis, Missouri. Similarly, he will facilitate the Virtual Fall Meeting 2020 SEL roundtable, “Innovations Achieved in Spite of Obstacles,” scheduled for Oct. 5 from 10:15-11:45 a.m. CDT. (Photo illustration by Stephenie Wade)
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Echoing the event theme of “Innovative and Disruptive…20/20 Vision for the Future,” the three roundtables scheduled for the first-ever virtual National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command Fall Meeting 2020, Oct. 5 to 8, features participation by senior U.S. military, government, industry, and academic leaders.
For example, the first of the three panel discussions, the Senior Enlisted Leader roundtable, “Innovations Achieved in Spite of Obstacles,” happens Oct. 5 from 10:15-11:45 a.m. CDT. Moderated by U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason France, senior enlisted leader, USTRANSCOM, the panel will be comprised of U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, command chief master sergeant, Air Mobility Command; U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rocky Carr, command sergeant major, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command; U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Rick Dyksterhouse, command master chief , Military Sealift Command; and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Linda Thrasher, senior enlisted advisor, USTRANSCOM’s Joint Transportation Reserve Unit.
A 30-year career Airman, France, who joined USTRANSCOM in November 2018, leads his second SEL roundtable at the Fall Meeting in successive years. As the command’s SEL, he serves as the principle advisor to the commander and senior staff on all matters concerning joint force integration, readiness, professional development, and effective utilization of the enlisted corps.
“Innovation is a crucial element in ensuring we maintain a competitive advantage over our adversaries,” said France. “Our panel will discuss creating cultures of innovation within our organizations, eliminating barriers to innovation, and giving advice to warfighters who are leading innovation efforts.”
The panel discussion occurring Tuesday, Oct. 6, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CDT, titled “Adapting Logistics for the 21st Century: Technological Advancements, Evolving Requirements, COVID-19 Disruptors,” will be moderated by U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Dee Mewbourne, deputy commander, USTRANSCOM. Panelists consist of Dr. Chris Caplice, executive director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Transportation and Logistics; Army and Air Force Exchange Service Director Thomas Shull; and Dr. George Friedman, founder and chairman, Geopolitical Futures.
Also, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Steve Kwast, former commander, Air Education and Training Command, facilitates the roundtable transpiring Wednesday, Oct. 7, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. CDT, “Transportation Thru Space: A Look at Space Systems Logistics, Supply Chain Initiatives, and Capabilities.” Panel members include Dr. Greg Spanjers, chief scientist, Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory; Charles Miller, co-founder and chief executive officer of Lynk; Gary Henry, senior director, National Security Space Solutions, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation; and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Garretson, instructor, Air Command and Staff College, where he also spearheads the Space Horizons Research Task Force.
In addition to the three slated roundtables, the NDTA-USTRANSCOM Virtual Fall Meeting 2020 includes five keynote presentations, conducted by military, government, and industry logistics principals. Additionally, there will be 80 interactive courses comprising Transportation Academy, which since its initiation six years ago, has become the foundation of this annual collaborative event.
Those interested in attending this virtual conference can register at https://www.ndtahq.com/events/fall-meeting/registration-2/.
More information on the eighth annual defense logistics forum can be found at https://www.ndtahq.com/events/fall-meeting/ and #FallMeeting2020.
“Our current operating environment (COVID-19) is forcing us to think differently about how we perform our missions. We must take full advantage of the opportunity we have right now to harness, institutionalize, and leverage the innovative ways our warfighters are getting after our business of projecting combat power,” France stated. “To do that, we need engaged leaders at all levels that embrace innovation and change, and set the conditions for our people to bring those innovations forward.”
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.