November 23, 2014  

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Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation and Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center Sign Memorandum of Understanding

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Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) has signed an agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi, formalizing an accord that will bring together the two major South Mississippi entities to address military transportation, logistics, and freight-based economic development innovations across the Gulf South.

Camp Shelby officials signed the agreement with the University’s Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (CLTT), a move intended to strengthen the strategic intermodal logistics hub opportunities and incorporate the capabilities and collaborative efforts between the center and the military.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond, who now serves as special assistant to the president for military and veterans’ student affairs at Southern Miss, called the collaborative agreement “strategic and visionary.” Hammond congratulated Camp Shelby and USM for taking the next “big step” in building a sustainable competitive advantage.

“This agreement formally establishes a working relationship between two critical

South Mississippi enterprises – higher education and the Department of Defense – embodying logistics and transportation as a network industry with significant trade dimensions,” said Hammond.

Col. William “Brad” Smith, commander of the sprawling Mississippi National Guard installation located just south of Hattiesburg, said the agreement with CLTT was a necessary step to go forward with larger plans. Smith said the university has played a significant role in the training and continued development of soldiers for decades, and this agreement would officially enter the realm of logistics.

“We have worked with the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation for several years, and I have been very proud and honored to have my staff serve on critical and important projects with them. However, it is time we move beyond projects to establishing a long-term relationship,” said Smith.

Smith said the $570 million restoration of the Port of Gulfport and the growing recognition of the South Mississippi Defense Corridor’s value as a potential military logistics hub served as the catalyst to pursue national logistics objectives. Smith said several “top-level” discussions had already taken place at commands located “outside Mississippi and the U.S. Army.”

Representatives from Camp Shelby serve on several professional committees and have presented at national and regional conferences hosted by the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation. Last August, CLTT wrote a letter of support for the Port of Gulfport’s efforts to be designated a “strategic seaport” by the Defense Department, which would allow the military to use south Mississippi as a major military hub.

Dr. Shannon Campbell, director of the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, said Camp Shelby is a vital asset to South Mississippi’s economy. “By combining their military expertise with our CLTT educational and research capabilities, we will position the region to leverage our resources to attract job growth and job retention,” she said.

Smith said this agreement could have the potential to assist the joint efforts underway within the South Mississippi Defense Corridor, which includes Camp Shelby, Keesler Air Force Base, Combat Readiness Training Center-Gulfport, the 1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group, Naval Construction Battalion Center-Gulfport, military entities located at Stennis Space Center, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg District.

Dr. Patricia Biesiot, interim dean of the College of Science and Technology, welcomed the news. “The Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation is an important asset to the College,” said Biesiot. “It provides an advancement opportunity for Camp Shelby personnel and continues our sustained history of partnerships.”

Dr. Tulio Sulbaran, director of the Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation, said the agreement creates the foundation for opportunities with state, regional and national implications and builds on existing collaborations with the Army. Sulbaran said the Army Logistics University’s Theater Logistics Planner Program can transfer nine graduate level credit hours to USM’s Master of Science in Logistics, Trade and Transportation.

“Our relationship with the armed forces is growing stronger by the day, and that’s a victory for everyone involved,” said Sulbaran.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation provides multidisciplinary expertise to industry and government agencies to increase their preparedness and competitiveness. The creation of the CLTT is the result of an integrated effort of industry, government and the University of Southern Mississippi.

The CLTT is governed by an Industry Advisory Council comprised of key private and public sector officials who are community leaders in the Gulf Coast region and actively engaged in the activities of the CLTT. The work of the CLTT is funded mainly through grants and other funding sources external to the University. The CLTT benefits the region by offering educational programs, applied research expertise, and networking events.

For more information or media inquiries contact the following representatives: On behalf of Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Major Craig Sumrall, Office: 601-558-2032,  Cell: 601-467-1101, and via e-mail:craig.m.sumrall.mil@mail.mil. On behalf of The University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Tulio Sulbaran, 601-266-6419 and via e-mail tulio.sulbaran@usm.edu.