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Archive for the ‘MARCORSYSCOM’ Category

NETT Marines Bridging the Gap Between the Past and Future of Amphibious Combat

Monday, April 8th, 2019

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. —

At its core, any Marine Corps New Equipment Training Team is responsible for-as the name suggests-arming Marines with the knowledge and skills they need to operate and maintain new equipment to ensure Marines’ future success on the battlefield. When new equipment is fielded, the NETT provide the initial training to experienced legacy system operators and maintainers to help get them acquainted with the new system in the shortest time possible.  

When the new system is the Amphibious Combat Vehicle-game-changing not only in the amphibious capabilities it provides to Marines, but also in that it’s replacing a nearly 50-year-old legacy system-the NETT are in a unique position to bridge the gap between the past and future of amphibious combat in the Corps. Currently, most new equipment training teams are comprised of civilian subject matter experts from Industry, the ACV NETT is comprised primarily of amphibious assault Marines who are able to apply their experience and expertise in operating and maintaining the legacy vehicle to operating and maintaining the new one.

“It’s pretty much 100 percent preparation for the next evolution,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Wheeler, lead operational instructor on the NETT, of his team’s role. “All of us here on the NETT have years of experience operating the legacy [Assault Amphibious Vehicle]. I think that our collective experience and influence is important, especially in informing the future of our community. That’s our number one job.”

Though the NETT falls under the Virginia-based Advanced Amphibious Assault program office at Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the office responsible for acquiring and fielding the system, the team itself is housed at the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch at Camp Pendleton, Calif., maximizing the team’s ability to spend time on and become proficient with operating and maintaining the vehicle.

To aid Marines’ transition from the legacy to the new platform, the NETT faces the challenge of infusing old practices into new Standard Operating Procedures and Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for the ACV.

“During the operational assessment, we realized that some of the tactics we’re used to with the AAV don’t work with the ACV,” said Wheeler. “We’re taking into account our old doctrine with the AAV, and seeing how some of those tactics, TTPs and SOPs can translate to the ACV [to make the transition easier for Marines].”

On the vehicular maintenance side, NETT Marines also help design the maintenance course. Currently, the team is busy helping the program office prepare for a four-month logistics demonstration-a comprehensive event evaluating the maintainability and sustainability of the vehicle-scheduled for this fall.

“One of the ways we’re verifying the Technical Manual for the ACV is by having the maintenance team complete over 1,400 maintenance tasks using the TM as a guide,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Hanush, maintenance lead instructor for the ACV. “This will help us when preparing the maintenance course. Ultimately, we want to ensure that Marines are successful when the vehicle hits the fleet.”

While the NETT’s main role is training Marines on maintaining and operating the ACV, the team also licenses drivers and, as operators of the vehicle, are integral participants in the rigorous operational, logistical and evaluative vehicle tests initiated by PM AAA. Having experienced amphibious assault Marines on the NETT has been extremely beneficial to the program office, particularly during operational assessments and testing.

“The Marines have assisted us greatly with understanding how the amphibious community operates, especially on water,” said James Aurilio, Manpower, Personnel and Training lead for PM AAA. “Operating a land vehicle in water is a unique experience, and they brought that experience with them. There’s a lot about doing that that, those of us who don’t do it would never understand or wouldn’t think to ask [during testing]. They’ve been stellar and have helped us out a lot.”

The NETT will start training Marines from Delta Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, in January 2020. Delta Company will be the first amphibious assault crews to be trained on the new vehicle. Upon completion of training, the NETT will help guide the Delta Company Marines as they participate in tests assessing the effectiveness of the first set of low-rate initial production ACVs. PM AAA anticipates receiving the first set of low-rate production vehicles this summer.

By Ashley Calingo, PEO Land Systems Public Affairs| Marine Corps Systems Command

Marine Corps Enhances Forensics Capability to Make Gathering Data Simple

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

The Marine Corps is enhancing an existing forensics exploitation capability used to differentiate between friend or foe on the battlefield.

The Corps is updating the Expeditionary Forensics Exploitation Capability, or EFEC, with newer IT technology. The EFEC is a portable forensic laboratory used by Law Enforcement Battalions to recognize, collect, analyze, preserve and store data.

The EFEC was fielded in 2013. Since then, the Identity Operations Team at Marine Corps Systems Command has decided to update the some of the system’s IT equipment.

“We’re making the IT equipment more adaptable for today,” said Sarah Swift, Identity Operations Team Lead. “We’re moving at the speed of relevance.”

Maj. David Bain, EFEC project officer, believes employing more up-to-date equipment can benefit Marines on the battlefield.

“We want to improve the lethality of Marines in the battlespace by collecting and sharing data faster than we were previously able to,” said Bain.

The EFEC is organic to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and capable of exploiting forensic material to support forensically enabled intelligence. This includes device and digital media analysis, latent and patent print, DNA, and the collection and identification of other elements that can be forensically tied to activities.

The Identity Operations Team is working to integrate the EFEC with other intelligence systems to give Marines the ability to gain insight and information of immediate tactical value on the battlefield.

“EFEC complements and integrates with the other Identity Operations capabilities, such as Identity Dominance System-Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Intelligence Agency Identity Intelligence Analytical Cell, or MCIA I2AC,” said Swift.

The MCIA I2AC reviews the IDS-MC and EFEC user’s submissions and other collected data to provide direct support to the submitting Marines. The I2AC rapidly produces analysis reports and related products for persons of interest and shares this information, with the collected data, throughout the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Enterprise.

MCSC is assessing science and technology agile acquisition efforts now to develop and field the next increment of EFEC capabilities by fiscal year 2021.

“Marines want more expeditionary, rugged and lightweight equipment with fewer pieces, and we are making that happen with the EFEC,” said Bain.

The Importance of EFEC

EFEC is a portable, expeditionary forensic exploitation laboratory that includes four collection kits. These kits provide squad-level tactical forensic collection capability for proper collection and preservation of evidence.

“The EFEC currently includes a chem kit, lab kit, media kit and site kit,” said Bain. “Together, the kits enable Marine operators to gather important forensic information on site to determine if a person of interest is a suspect or an ally.”

The chem kit allows operators to detect and identify hazardous and forensically relevant chemicals. The lab kit helps Marines process digital evidence, and the mobile kit helps to analyze and recover information from mobile devices.

Lastly, the site kit enables the operator to gather key forensic information, such as taking fingerprints and preserving liquids, at any location of interest.

MAGTF expeditionary forensics is one of three pillars within the USMC Identity Operations Strategy 2020 Implementation Plan. To fulfill the Marine Corps Operating Concept, MCSC continues to seek and provide Marines relevant, innovative and rapid solutions to enhance warfighting capabilities, Swift said.

“It’s important that MCSC continues to advance with technology and we stay agile with our incremental acquisition approach to evolve current capabilities,” said Swift.

Story courtesy of MARCORSYSCOM. Matt Gonzales contributed to this story. Photos by Pfc. Kindo Go.

USMC Seeks 84mm Round Pouches

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

The Marine Corps wants to purchase pouches for the 84 MM round used in the Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon System (commonly referred to as the Carl Gustaf).

They’ve solicited feedback from industry for pouches which meet these criteria:

– Accommodate one, two, or three 84 mm MAAWS rounds. Modularity and designs that allow for Marines to balance the ammunition on their existing load bearing equipment are preferred.

– Be compatible with the current Pouch Attachment Ladder System for attachment to current Marine Corps load bearing equipment.

– Provide a retention mechanism that allows for the rounds to be retained during normal combat operations.

– Must be comprised of materials that meet current Near Infrared requirements.

– Must be compliant with the Berry Amendment.

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

Judge Determines USMC Plate Carrier Soft Armor Vendor Not Small Business

Monday, March 18th, 2019

About a week and a half ago I started hearing reports that the contractor for the Marine Corps’ Plate Carrier soft armor panels losing their small business status. This is significant because the contract was set aside for a small business.

Naturally, I asked to see some paper work and sure enough, I eventually received a copy of the order.

On February 8th, 2019, Administrative Judge Christopher Holleman of the Small Business Administration, ruled in favor of a protest by Hardwire, LLC against the small business determination of Central Lake Armor Express, Inc which had been awarded a $59,369,617 ceiling, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of up to a maximum 65,469 Plate Carrier Generation III – Soft Armor Inserts and data reports by Marine Corps Systems Command On October 25th, 2018.

Judge Holleman determined that CLAE was not a small business for this contract (750 employees) because CEO James Henderson also serves simultaneously as CEO of Steel Connect and ModusLink.

It’s important to point out that this ruling is only for this solicitation. In fact, this business situation may have already changed. However, multiple companies have filed protests against CLAE over their business size.

Although the Marine Corps previously issued a delivery order, there’s no word yet on how they plan to deal with this ruling. Interestingly, MARCOSYSCOM released a Justification and Adjudication (J&A) to raise the ceiling on the contract without having to rebid. They did this on February 7th, just one day before the Judge made his decision.

New Vehicle-mounted Electronic Tech Enables Marines to Combat Threats

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command plans to implement a new form of technology that allows the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to identify enemy activity.

The technology employs a vehicle-borne tool that enables Marines to discern what happens inside the electromagnetic spectrum. It connects several independent electronic capabilities into a single unit and allows Marines to manage threats and reactions from a central location.

“Marines are going to be able to make decisions on what they are seeing,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Dono, a team lead in MCSC’s Command Elements Systems.

Marines currently use systems to counter IEDs that block signals used by adversaries to remotely detonate explosive devices. The new technology is a man-packable and vehicle-mounted system, which will be able to be deployed on any Marine vehicle.

“This emergent technology combines a number of current capabilities into one system, thereby reducing the need for additional training and logistic support to manage multiple systems,” said Col. Dave Burton, program manager for Intelligence Systems at MCSC.

Once fielded, the system will enhance situational awareness on the battlefield.

“We will be able to do all of the functions of similar systems as well as sense and then display what is going on in the electronic spectrum,” said Dono. “Then we can communicate that to Marines for their decision-making process.”

MCSC is taking an evolutionary approach that allows the command to field the equipment faster and then gradually improve the capability as time progresses, Dono said. As the technology evolves, the Marine Corps can make incremental improvements as needed.

The Corps will work with Marines to test a variety of displays that track the electromagnetic spectrum, looking into each display’s user interface. The command can then determine if improvements must be made to ensure usability.

“It’s similar to what Apple does with the iPhone,” explained Dono. “They have many different displays and they want to make it natural and intuitive, so it’s not something that’s clunky, confusing and has to be learned.”

MCSC plans to field the vehicle-mounted system around the first quarter of 2020. When implemented, the equipment will continue to grow in capability to better prepare Marines to take on the digital battlefield.

“This system is important because it is going to allow Marines to operate inside the electromagnetic spectrum, make decisions and act upon that information,” said Dono. “That’s something they’ve never had to consider or think about in the past.”

By Matt Gonzales, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

Marine Corps seeks ideas, information for Optical Communication Transmission System

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information March 5, to identify a non-developmental solution to provide a complete Line of Sight Optical Communication Transmission System.

A U.S. Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa performs a radio check during a training event with German soldiers in Seedorf, Germany, Dec. 6, 2018. Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information March 5, to identify a non-developmental solution to provide a complete Line of Sight Optical Communication Transmission System. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Katelyn Hunter)

According to the RFI, released on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the OCTS system must be capable of providing a high-bandwidth transmission path used for voice, video and data communications.

For program officials, this capability will consolidate capabilities into a complete LOS transmission capability.

“The adage, ‘Move, shoot, communicate’ hasn’t changed, but how we communicate is rapidly changing,” said Maj. Eric Holmes, MCSC project officer. “Given the rapid pace of innovation in technology, the Marine Corps is currently evaluating maturing capabilities.”

Optical communications support greater bandwidth, and provide additional relief for frequency allocations in an already constrained spectrum.

“The Marine Corps is turning to industry to help rapidly develop and field this technology to protect vital command and control emissions from advanced adversaries,” Holmes said.   

Responses to the RFI must be received by 1 p.m. on March 19.

By Maj Kenneth Kunze, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

Marine Corps Seeks ideas, information on Organic Precision Fires-Mounted capability

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information it hopes goes beyond traditional defense partners to gain an innovative edge for a potential Organic Precision Fires-Mounted capability.

U.S. Marine Cpl. Hunter Badgett orients his target prior to calling for fire from a Light Armoured Vehicle as part of exercise Joint Assault Signals Company Black, Waiouru Military Camp, New Zealand, Sept. 27, 2018. Marine Corps Systems Command recently released a Request for Information for a potential Organic Precision Fires-Mounted capability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jordan E. Gilbert)

According to the RFI, released on the Federal Business Opportunities website Jan. 31, the OPF-M system must be capable of attacking targets at ranges that exceed weapons systems currently in an organic infantry battalion.

For program officials, this is the first step toward developing a future acquisition strategy that may include a Family of Systems—or even a tiered capability for maneuver units.

“The OPF-M will enhance indirect fire capability within the Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion,” said Jeff Nebel, team lead for Program Manager Fires.   

The OPF-M is consistent with Marine Corps Operating concepts and the commandant’s priorities to modernize the force with investments in long-range and precision fires. OPF-M enhances the ability of maneuver and provides the LAR community the ability to shape the battlespace with an organic fire support asset.

The program office anticipates development of the OPF-M system to begin in 2020. The initial capability will also consist of several subsystems, including an aerial reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition platform, a vehicle-launched loitering aerial munition, and a digital command and control system.

“Organic Precision Fires has the ability to transform how we fight,” Nebel said. “We are committed to giving our Marines the systems they require to maintain their superiority over any adversary.”

Responses to the RFI must be received by March 1. An industry day is scheduled for March 13-14.

By Barb Hamby, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

MCTSSA Briefs Industry Leaders During Partnership Event

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.— Marines, engineers and technical experts from Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity hosted nearly 200 business leaders from across the country during an Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry Feb. 6, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.


Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity hosted nearly 200 business leaders during an Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry Feb. 6 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. (Photo Illustration courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps)

The one-day event highlighted current technical objectives and associated challenges involved in supporting the command, control, communications and computers—or C4—systems used by expeditionary warfighters.

“The mutually beneficial partnership between private industry and the United States Marine Corps is our competitive advantage,” said Col. Robert Bailey, MCTSSA commanding officer. “Our talented business partners will be the ones creating the next generation of C4 systems, which must integrate seamlessly with the Marines operating at the tactical edge of the network.”

Specific areas discussed were, cybersecurity testing, wireless technology, advanced manufacturing, cloud computing, naval systems integration, automated testing, systems engineering, system and system of systems testing, data link analysis, tactical networking, and United States Marine Corps Operating Forces technical support.


Industry partners gathered with MCTSSA subject matter experts during an Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry Feb. 6 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

“MCTSSA is doing some exceptional 21st century work for our Marine Corps,” said APBI participant and marketing director Greg Goodman. “This was a superb event.”

Other participants sought to gain knowledge of the technologies and processes that are important to the United States Marine Corps.

“MCTSSA and industry are trying to solve the same problems, there is a significant opportunity for cooperation if a business model can be worked out,” said James Valentine, a business development director.


Col. Robert Bailey (left), MCTSSA commanding officer, spoke with business leaders during an Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry Feb. 6 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Technical briefs were conducted at various locations throughout the MCTSSA compound and put the command’s subject experts in direct contact with their business counterparts.

“I’ve been able to learn more about command requirements and how Hewlett Packard Enterprise can assist,” said Ray McCrea, an account manager and APBI participant. “By starting that dialogue and meeting these contacts, I’ve accomplished my goal here today.”

Hearing directly from requirements officers was beneficial to many of the industry participants.

“Partnerships are vital in creating win-win relationships,” said APBI participant Wil Granados. “I am extremely supportive of these type of events and would like to see more in the future.”


Buck Connally (right), a MCTSSA subject matter expert, briefs industry leaders on joint interoperability of tactical command and control systems during an Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry Feb. 6 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

MCTSSA leadership echoed similar sentiments.

“Cultivating and enhancing our relationship with industry will become even more essential as our nation faces new and evolving threats from a strategic and asymmetric adversary,” said Bailey. “We must make Marines more capable, enabling combatant commanders’ real-time command and control superiority and this industry event helps us strive to do just that.”

Business leaders taking part in the event equally expressed the importance of the day.

“These are valuable interchanges for industry,” said Valentine. “It ties industry into the Marine user through MCTSSA and will help steer our investment.”

MCTSSA, an elite, full-scale laboratory facility operated by the Marine Corps, is a subordinate command of Marine Corps Systems Command. MCTSSA provides test and evaluation, engineering, and deployed technical support for Marine Corps and joint service command, control, computer, communications and intelligence systems throughout all acquisition life-cycle phases.

Story and Photos By Sky M. Laron, Public Affairs Officer, MCTSSA