MTMC gets new name, adds Philadelphia as strategic port

MTMC gets new name, adds Philadelphia as strategic port

As part of a reorganization to better meet the demands of the war on terror and related military actions, the Military Traffic Management Command will be officially renamed to the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

In a statement, the agency said the name change better reflects the command's emphasis on end-to-end distribution operations in support of U.S. warfighters, said Maj. Gen. Ann Dunwoody, Commanding General.

The change follows closely on the heels of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) being designated as the Defense Department's Joint Distribution Process Owner. The SDDC will serve as a key enabler of a new and improved joint distribution system organized by USTRANSCOM.

Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., with its Operations Center at Fort Eustis, Va., this Army Major Command and Army Component Command of USTRANSCOM is responsible for the global, joint movement of combat units, sustainment cargo, service member household goods and privately owned vehicles.

The agency was established in 1965 as the Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service; it was renamed Military Traffic Management Command in 1974.

Part of the expanding role of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command is to provide a single face to the field for all surface movement requirements. For instance, it works with the Military Sealift Command to determine whether existing ocean liner contracts meet the requirement or whether Military

Sealift Command needs to charter or activate a vessel.

At the same time, Brig. Gen. Mark E. Scheid has been named as the MTMC's new Deputy Commanding General/Director of Operations.

Scheid, who assumed his command last week at Fort Eustis, Va., is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He directs 24 MTMC terminal unit locations located around the world.

Scheid had been running the MTMC Operations Center since the Sept. 30 retirement of Brig. Gen. Barbara Doornink.

From late in 2002 until June 15, 2003, Scheid served as Chief, Joint Movement Control Center, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In related news, a shipload of high-priority cargo in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on Oct. 17 became the first major military movement to leave from Philadelphia, the Department of Defense's newest Strategic Port.

Military equipment from the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N. Y., was loaded aboard the Military Sealift Command's USNS 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin, a combination container and Roll-on/Roll-off vessel, at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.

The Port of Philadelphia was designated in 2002 as the country's 14th commercial Strategic Seaport.

Strategic Seaports are maritime installations designated to potentially support Department of Defense cargo shipments in support of contingencies.

The port is one of only three in North America with direct rail service by three railroads for high and wide shipments, the agency said in a press release.

The Iraqi loads were the first major military cargo handled by the port since its designation as a Strategic Port. Within the past year, the port handled a barge with military cargo destined for Panama as well as some shipments returning from overseas deployments.