The Military Traffic
Management Command says the commercial transportation industry is part of
an "extraordinary team" that will play a key role as America responds
to the terrorist attacks. "When faced with a threat we bond quickly with
a sense of common purpose and resolve that is awesome," Bill Lucas, MTMC's
deputy to the commander, told an audience of civilian transporters last week
in Washington, DC.
Lucas said the defense
transportation system frequently operates "in relative obscurity"
during peacetime. But, in the current crisis, industry representatives are
exhibiting a "can do" spirit.
MTMC utilizes about 600
trucking firms from across the nation with access to thousands of trucks,
said John Piparato, MTMC operations official. Civilian transporters haul all
types and sizes of freight for the Defense Department. "They move helicopters
- such that arrived by ship from Korea - a Navy life boat, shipping containers
of unit property from a military installation to the port of embarkation,
to name a few," Piparato said.
Lucas cautioned transporters
to observe security in their operations and communications. "What once
seemed innocuous may now be cobbled together as part of a larger puzzle that
signals an intent or poses and inherent risk," said Lucas. "Sept.
11, 2001, has caused us all to view things in very different perspectives
and different priorities."
Lucas advised the transportation
industry to prepare now for its role implementing National Security Strategy.
"I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of their dedication and selfless
service," he said. "... The ability to deploy and sustain the
force anytime, anywhere, for as long as it is needed. Be prepared. Be proud.
Be safe. God bless America."