News Item

You are here

A Successful Partnership: DOD and U.S. DOT Update Agreement on Cross-Departmental Collaboration

Monday, September 30, 2019
Portraits of Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation, and Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation, and Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between DOD and U.S. DOT regarding the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. (DOD and U.S. DOT photos)

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) recently updated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the U.S. DOT Volpe Center.

The updated MOU reinforces the important cross-departmental collaboration and long-standing partnership between federal agencies and the Volpe Center’s support to DOD’s mission across commands and offices.

Signed by Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, and Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation, the updated MOU encourages all branches of DOD to leverage the Volpe Center’s multidisciplinary, multimodal transportation expertise. The document supersedes the previous MOU, which was signed in May 1996 and lasted 23 years.

“I hope this memorandum will last at least as long,” said Szabat, who visited the Volpe Center on September 17 and spoke on the importance of the DOD-DOT partnership.

The signing took place just before General Stephen R. Lyons, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), spoke as part of the Volpe Center’s speaker series Our New Mobility Future.

“I’m honored to be here for two reasons: one, to renew an acquaintance with General Lyons, the very capable and distinguished commander of USTRANSCOM,” said Szabat. “The other reason I’m grateful to be here is because of the excellent work that you have done here at Volpe.”

Because of this, he wants to ensure that the work the Volpe Center does for U.S. DOT is expanded to elsewhere in the government, especially to DOD.

General Stephen R. Lyons and Acting Under Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat shake hands at the Volpe Center following the signing of the updated MOU. 
General Stephen R. Lyons, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), and Acting Under Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Volpe photo)

50 Years of Support to Critical DOD Missions

The MOU underscores the long-standing, successful working relationship between DOD and U.S. DOT concerning the Volpe Center.

Over the last 50 years, the Volpe Center has provided support to critical missions across various branches of DOD.

Together, DOD and U.S. DOT’s Volpe Center have achieved great progress in advancing DOD’s transportation and logistics-related mission through programs such as:

  • Upgrading radar and air traffic control systems
  • Safely integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace
  • Developing, testing, and evaluating automated mobility applications
  • Modernizing rail locomotives and infrastructure
  • Improving the overall transportation resilience and assurance of DOD

Watch a video highlight of the signing.

To learn more about how the Volpe Center supports critical DOD missions and goals, read the brochure The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center and the U.S. Department of Defense: A Successful Partnership.

Acting Under Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat speaks to an audience at the Volpe Center.
Acting Under Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat speaks on the long-standing partnership between DOD and U.S. DOT at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Volpe photo)
Acting Under Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat signs an agreement at the Volpe Center in Cambridge, MA.
Acting Under Secretary of Transportation Joel Szabat signs an updated MOU between DOD and U.S DOT at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Volpe photo)
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019