ST. LOUIS – Downtown St. Louis is playing host this week to a key conference focusing on national defense logistics and transportation issues.

It’s all happening inside Union Station. The conference kicks off Monday morning and runs through Thursday. Those attending include officials from industry, academic professors, and military leaders.

Among the scheduled speakers, Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost. She is the commander of USTRANSCOM at Scott Air Force Base and is slated to give the keynote address Monday afternoon.

USTRANSCOM which stands for United States Transportation Command is headquartered at Scott. It provides air, land and sea transportation for the U.S. military, moving people and property around the world.

Event organizers said this week’s conference brings together a wide range of U.S. government, industry, and academic experts with the goal of improving national logistics and transportation systems to achieve a better defense industrial and the national defense transportation association are co-hosting the conference.

We spoke earlier with Retired Vice Admiral Andy Brown, the head of the National Defense Transportation Association. He detailed some of the big topics that will be discussed at the conference.

“We’re going to talk about a lot about data, as it’s very important these days; cybersecurity is very important – how do you command and control logistics and not just have it a free for all?” Brown explained. “So you have to be able to control it very carefully and meter it out. So there will be a lot of discussions about that.”

Some 1,600 logistics and transportation experts will be attending the meetings at Union Station this week. The theme of this year’s event is “Defense Transportation and Logistics, Evolving the Strategic Advantage.”

The keynote address by General Van Ovost is set for 2:30 p.m.