By Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, USN (Ret.)
President & CEO, NDTA

Tomorrow we celebrate National Defense Transportation Day, when the United States officially recognizes the contributions that transportation by air, land and sea make to our national security.

Here at NDTA, we are committed to the people who ensure that U.S. warfighters get the equipment and supplies they need. For 70+ years, we’ve understood that a strong national defense means an equally strong transportation system.

Transportation, even in everyday life, is sometimes easy to take for granted. When you make a purchase online, you probably don’t think too much about how it gets to your door – it just does. A sophisticated network works behind the scenes, though, from the second you click ‘buy’ for that t-shirt, game or e-reader.

The same holds true for the fuel, food and military hardware that keep U.S. military men and women supplied around the world. Before arriving at its final destination, an item may have traveled by plane, train, truck, ship or some combination of them all. Professionals had to make all the arrangements, and track the cargo each step of the way.

The Defense Transportation System is complex, versatile and made possible in part by partnerships between the military and private sector companies. Programs like the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement and Maritime Security Program guarantee that when there’s a national emergency, the resources of America’s transportation-related companies can easily – and quickly – move cargo and people where they’re needed.

This kind of close coordination doesn’t happen by magic. Working relationships and trust are built over years, sometimes decades. Technological innovations like drones change our perceptions of what’s possible, and reshape the way our businesses operate.

NDTA provides a trusted environment for both sides of the defense transportation equation – military and private sector – to discuss challenges, stay ahead of changes and develop the next generation of professionals.

Tomorrow, we rightly acknowledge the vital role transportation plays in our national defense. But whether or not you’re aware, transporters operate every day to keep our country supplied, and safe.