By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2014 – President Barack Obama’s mandate to reduce U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 is U.S. Transportation Command’s top priority, Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III told Congress here today.
Fraser, commander of Transcom, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on the state of his combatant command and its global mission.
“United States Transportation Command continues to support our force reductions in Afghanistan through our close working relationships with the geographic combatant commanders, other federal agencies and our commercial partners in various host nations,” he said.
“We are postured to achieve the president’s directed reduction in Afghanistan by December 2014,” Fraser said. “Our transportation command team remains fully committed.”
He said his command is focused on supporting U.S. forces worldwide and executing the redeployment from Afghanistan.
Fraser lauded the men and women of his command for their commitment to supporting the troops around the world, noting Transcom’s joint forces team is dedicated to providing reliable and seamless logistical support to warfighters and their families around the world.
According to Fraser, Transcom, which is comprised of active duty, reserve and National Guard troops, civil servants, Merchant Mariners and commercial partners, has met the past year’s challenges while supporting combat operations, sustainment efforts, humanitarian relief missions, and crisis-action responses.
“From supporting relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines,” he said, “to continuing development of innovative ways to maximize throughput into and out of Afghanistan to meeting the directed 34,000 troop-reduction level by February 2014, the [Transcom] team committed themselves to ensuring our joint force maintains global logistics superiority.”
Fraser praised Transcom’s people as “world-class professionals” who continue to conduct the nation’s business “magnificently” without fanfare, and often, under stressful conditions.
“We are looking towards the future and we’re preparing for a different operating environment. Declining [DOD] business for our industry partners requires careful consideration of how we ensure readiness of our organic and commercial air, sea and surface capabilities into the future,” Fraser said.
“We will continue to work with Congress, the Department of Defense, the interagency and our commercial partners to find that right balance,” he added.
As the global distribution synchronizer, Transcom depends on a worldwide, multi-mobile network of military and commercial infrastructure, Fraser said, to ensure rapid delivery of forces and sustainment for humanitarian and contingency operations.
“This global network provides the strategic reach necessary for any contingency and highlights the need for assured access and delivery capabilities,” he added.
In order to support any worldwide contingency or humanitarian event, Fraser said it is essential to preserve and improve partnerships with allied nations, maintain infrastructure and continue to strengthen commercial partnerships.
“The United States Transportation Command team is committed to working on these relationships and seeking innovation solutions to support our forces around the world,” he said.