Scott Air Force Base gets new general to lead cargo command

News-DemocratJune 13, 2014 

— Army Brig. Gen. Susan A. Davidson took command of the Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command during a ceremony Friday morning that featured a cannon salute and a military band.

Davidson, 50, assumed command from Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson, who oversaw SDDC for 27 months. The ceremony also served as the formal retirement ceremony for Richardson, who is leaving the Army after 34 years.

Richardson spoke highly of Davidson's leadership abilities and the long, proud history of SDDC, which handles nearly 90 percent of the cargo the U.S. Transportation Command moves worldwide.

"So welcome," Richardson said. "Don't screw it up."

Davidson has held a wide variety of posts, with her most recent assignment the command of the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution. She had previously served as SDDC 's No.2 officer during an earlier stint there.

"I can't wait to get started," she said.

Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, USTRANSCOM's commander, served as host of the ceremony, held in Hangar 1 at the base.

Army Gen. Dennis L. Via, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., served as the ceremony's presiding official.

Via noted that SDDC under Richardson's leadership has executed more than 200 unit cargo movements in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, in Iraq, and moved more than 56 million square-feet of cargo.

"That's enough cargo to cover the playing field at Busch Stadium 400 times," Via said.

Furthermore, last year alone SDDC moved 500,000 military households to new postings and 70,000 privately owned vehicles, Via said.

"So if you received your household goods on time, you know who to thank," he said. "And if you didn't, well, that's a problem for the next commander."

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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