By Robert Martin 31 January 2018
Carlisle Barracks - Gen. Darren McDew, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, discussed the command’s mission, cyber threats, the role of ships and mariners in the larger security environment, and leadership principles.
McDew spoke to the class of 2018, faculty and staff in Bliss Hall, Jan 30, in a senior leader engagement that complemented the curriculum focus on leadership at the strategic level.
McDew began his remarks with a personalized set of congratulations to Air Force officers in the class or on faculty who were recently selected for promotion to colonel, calling out John ‘Frankie’ Belo, , Erick ‘T-raz’ Turasz, Chris ‘Crisco’ Todd and faculty member David ‘D-ray’ Rayman.
Ninety percent of cargo is delivered through mobilized commercial means, said McDew, as he addressed the decisive effect of USTRANSCOM’s maritime forces. The planning necessary to ensure logistics support and to anticipate attrition of maritime support cannot be underestimated, he noted.
McDew’s key insight was what he believes to be the challenge of our time. Cyber threats can stop a mission without a single bullet fired, without a bomb dropped, he said. The changing character of war will have wide-ranging implications for transportation support to defense goals. Emerging technologies, geopolitics, and shifting demographics will influence how, where and who will fight the next wars, he noted.
As he concluded, McDew offered leadership insights. Gathered through his own experiences, his list included these recommendations for senior leaders: Don’t forget you still have a boss; know who is spending your money; understand who you are and who you are not; and develop your successors.
Gen. McDew was commissioned in 1982 following graduation from Virginia Military Institute and he began his flying career at Loring AFB, Maine. He has served as commander of 18th Air Force and commander of U.S. Air Mobility Command, both at Scott AFB. He assumed command of USTRANSCOM in August 2015.