New Leader Heads DoD's Transportation Command

Moving millions of passengers and tons of cargo by air and sea, Transcom also is vital for evacuating wounded soldiers, maintaining operations in Afghanistan, and supporting disaster response around the world.

The transportation arm of the U.S. military has a new commander: U.S. Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III, who was installed as its chief Oct. 14 during a change-in-command ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said every military operation depends on the U.S. Transportation Command.

"Very simply, ... we could not do our missions and defend America without you," he said. No one goes anywhere, no one fights anywhere, no one stays anywhere without your support."

Panetta said while under the command of Air Force Gen. Duncan J. McNabb last year, Transcom conducted more than 37,000 airlift missions and transported more than 2.3 million passengers by air and 29 million short tons of cargo by air and sea. Panetta saidt while Transcom provided "truly extraordinary and unceasing" support to military operations, it also was critical for disaster response around the world, according to an article written by Donna Miles of the American Forces Press Service. Her account says Panetta cited the Haiti earthquake; the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan; floods in Pakistan; and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"This command, under their great leader, stepped up and delivered," Panetta said, according to Miles' account, which says Panetta called Fraser a "proven and effective leader" who brings a wealth of experience to the job.

"We really are the only military in the world where, if we call for something, if we ask for something, if we need something on the battlefield, we are going to get it," said Panetta. "And about nine times out of 10, it will get there because of Transcom. We consider you the strength of our forces. We couldn't be the armed forces we are without them."

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