Logistics professionals from U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and other organizations across the U.S. government attended a virtual Joint Chiefs of Staff two-day World Wide Logistics Symposium (WWLS) last week.
The event focused on the operational challenges and lessons learned from fighting the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Logistics play a major role in operations and exercises across the globe, and USEUCOM's ability to rapidly surge combat-ready, capable forces into and across the European theater is paramount to its capacity to respond at a moment's notice to support the Alliance. Events like the WWLS offer an organized venue for logistics professionals to exchange ideas on ways to be more effective and efficient—especially in the face of the global pandemic.
"The WWLS was a good opportunity for us as a USEUCOM logistics staff to sync with our logistics partners across the entire government," said Rear Adm. Richard D. Heinz, USEUCOM director of logistics. "This year, every team brought a different perspective to the table, and we were able to gain a lot of lessons learned from one another."
This year's symposium focused on COVID-19, its impact on the military, delivery of aid to Allies and partners and how the Department of Defense can best prepare for any potential second wave of the deadly pandemic.
The event included presentations from logistics teams from across the U.S. government, including a presentation from Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, who offered an executive view of logistics operations. Other guest presenters discussed a wide range of topics from global supply chain to intelligence impacts on logistics operations.
Since COVID-19 support to Allies and partners began in February, USEUCOM logistics personnel have worked behind the scenes, providing much-needed logistical support to Allies and partners as well as U.S. personnel stationed on the European continent. Among other efforts, major support included:
"In 2020, the USEUCOM logistics team has stayed flexible and adapted to every challenge COVID-19 has presented," Heinz added. "We continue to reinforce our commitment to European Allies and partners by helping maintain the highest levels of military readiness with logistical support."