ST. LOUIS – Nearly 2,000 industry and government transportation experts were in attendance for the first day of the annual National Defense Transportation Association and United States Transportation Command meeting.

United States Transportation Command Commander Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost delivered a 30-minute speech at Union Station, just 25 miles away from Scott Air Force Base, where the United States conducts all of its transportation missions.

Van Ovost pleaded for new ideas form the crowd ahead of a “decisive decade.”

“We need to work on our will,” Van Ovost said. “This is going to be a different fight. We need to think differently, and we need to recognize that we don’t have a lot of time. We need you to produce options.”

The goal of the four-day convention is to bring together two sides of the transportation equation: the private sector and those in the government.

“The risk of staying the same is worse than the risk of changing,” Van Ovost said.

Van Ovost also spoke about how big of a role USTRANSCOM plays in foreign affairs, most recently in Ukraine.

“You’re all coming up with new ideas to move very hazardous equipment,” she said. “We are making sure truck drivers are safe and we have not moved that much stuff at that kind of pace maybe since World War II.”

The convention wraps up on Thursday.