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Archive for the ‘USMC’ Category

MARSOF 2030

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

The newest of United Special Operations Command’s components, Marine Corps Special Operations Command was founded in 2006, following an experiment with MCSOCOM Detachment-One.

Despite not having a long history in SOF, they also weren’t burdened with an organizational structure created during the Cold War. Instead, they leveraged capabilities found within the Corps and stood up a command with multiple disciplines including traditional Special Operators, Terminal Attack Controllers, Intelligence specialists, EOD and K9. Just like with standard Marine Corps units, medical support is provided by selected and trained Navy Corpsmen. Furthermore, MARSOC developed specialized training for all of their personnel l including logistics and communications. They have done a fantastic job at operationalize all of these capabilities.

If I were in one of the other components, I’d read this. They are coming for your missions.

MARSOC continues to evolve. This document shows us what they bring to the fight. Download it here.

Fine-tuning the Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle in Preparation for IOT&E

Friday, October 4th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Three thousand miles away from the epicenter of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle acquisition, a cadre of Marines, civilians and contractors are hard at work completing a logistics demonstration effort on the vehicle.

The logistics demonstration effort—or Log Demo—is one of the last steps the Advanced Amphibious Assault program office at Program Executive Officer Land Systems needs to execute before training Marines in the Operating Forces to use and maintain the vehicle during IOT&E, the integrated operational test and evaluation activities scheduled for next year.

“Log Demo’s main purpose is to verify the validity and accuracy of the ACV’s technical manuals,” said Tommy “TJ” Pittman, Log Demo’s technical manager lead for PM AAA. “We want to make sure that the Marine can do the job, given the technical manual, training and tools [provided to them].”

For the logistics demonstration team, this means individually reviewing and performing nearly 1,500 work package procedures in the Interactive Electronic Technical Manual designed for Marines in charge of vehicle maintenance.

The demo also involves reviewing 125 work packages—spanning over 2,000 pages—in the Electronic Technical Manual designed for Marine ACV operators. The Common Remotely Operated Weapons System—or CROWS—on the ACV also has its own technical manual that the team must verify.

“This is less about our ability to perform the task or our skills as a mechanic, and more about whether the IETM can direct us to do the task properly” said Staff Sgt. Justin Hanush, lead ACV maintenance instructor for Advanced Amphibious Assault program office’s new equipment training team at PEO LS. “We’re painstakingly going through the IETM word-for-word, letter-by-letter, illustrations, everything—to make sure we can do the task as the IETM is written.”

A next-generation technical manual for a next-generation vehicle

The IETM is especially noteworthy because, for the Marine Corps, it’s the first of its kind for ground vehicles.

“I’ve personally worked for 15 years on getting the Marine Corps an interactive electronic tech manual that can be updated within moments,” said Pittman.

As a former Assault Amphibious Vehicle operator, the 24-year Marine Corps veteran has extensive experience operating and maintaining vehicles in the amphibious assault community. Pittman worked with Army Aviation and Missile Command to integrate the ACV’s IETM onto their software system and servers.

The interactive aspect of the technical manual streamlines the diagnostic and troubleshooting process Marines use when performing maintenance on a vehicle. By collaborating with the Army on a virtual manual, the Marine Corps can also reduce the amount of time needed to make updates to the IETM.

In the past, it could take up to a year for the technical manual for the ACV’s predecessor, the Assault Amphibious Vehicle, to be updated, said Hanush. With the introduction of the new IETM software, updates to the technical manual are implemented overnight.

On the ACV operator side, the team is ensuring their technical manual is clearly written so Marines can properly operate the vehicle and provide first-level maintenance on the vehicle if needed, said Sgt. Jarrod Warren, lead ACV operator instructor for the NETT.

“It’s important that the outcomes we reach when going through the ETM are the same outcomes stated in the book,” said Warren. “It’s also important to make sure we can maintain the vehicle at our level and, if not, we know when to bring it up to the maintenance side.”

The importance of meticulously reviewing the technical manuals to ensure the validity and accuracy of the document is not lost on Hanush, who noted, “I could have grandchildren someday who join the Marine Corps, and they could be working off the manual that I’m helping to write.”

Technical manual writing aside, Hanush is appreciative of the dedication of his fellow Marines during Log Demo, saying, “I couldn’t ask for a better group of ACV mechanics. They’re knocking it out of the park.”

One team, one fight, under one roof

Unlike other logistic demonstrations undertaken by the Corps, which typically take place at a contractor’s facility, this one takes place at the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch at Camp Pendleton, California.

The three-month logistics demonstration took more than a year-and-a-half to plan, said Pittman. He said a unique aspect of Log Demo was that the program office, rather than the contractor, planned and created the logistics demonstration plan.

Equally critical to the success of the Log Demo effort are PM AAA’s industry partners, whose participation spans multiple states and continents, and whose roles vary from field service representatives to technical illustrators.

“We have about 65 individuals on the ground here, between the Marines, civilians, BAE, and one foreign representative from Iveco, which is the subcontractor to BAE on the vehicle,” said Pittman. “We have the right people—the writers, the illustrators, the engineers, the Marines, the data collectors, the safety people and the —in one location, which makes communication between the groups so much easier.”

Moving forward to IOT&E

Currently, the Marines on the NETT are the Corps’ uniformed subject matter experts on the ACV. Following Log Demo, Hanush, Warren and the rest of the NETT will use the verified training manuals as their guide to train and prepare Marines for IOT&E.

IOT&E is the program office’s final evaluation of the ACV before fielding the vehicle. During IOT&E, executed by Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity, the NETT will take a step back from operating and maintaining the vehicle and instead enable Marines to put the vehicle through its paces.

“IOT&E is sort of like a dress rehearsal for the system,” said Maj. Scott Jennings, a project officer at MCOTEA who will be involved with IOT&E of the ACV. “Marines will operate the vehicle in realistic environments and go on realistic missions so that we can evaluate the operational suitability and effectiveness of the system and see if it does what we want it to do in the way we want to do it.”

Until then, PM AAA’s focus is to ensure the ACV is ready for use. The modernized vehicle brings the Corps’ amphibious assault capabilities back to the forefront and will assist Marines in reestablishing themselves as a naval expeditionary force-in-readiness prepared to operate inside actively contested maritime spaces in support of fleet operations.

“I believe wholeheartedly in the mission these [Marines] do out there because I’ve been there,” said Pittman, who has dedicated over 48 years of his life to the assault amphibious community as an active duty Marine and a civilian. “I believe that we need to give them the best assets that we can possibly put in their hands, to not only save their lives, but to also protect our freedom.”

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

MDM 17 – USMC Certifies XGO Performance T-Shirt For Alternate Wear

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

The Marine Corps has certified the XGO Non-FR Performance T-Short in short and long sleeved versions for alternate wear. Certification Number 001254 for short sleeved and 001255 for long sleeved.

The shirts features flat seam construction for comfort and the material is anti-microbial.

www.proxgo.com

MDM 19 – Rocky USMC Tropical Boot

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

The Marine Corps has selected two new tropical boots for use on the jungle. One of them is the Rocky boot.

It features a modernized version of the famous Panama tread outsole, manufactured by Vibram. The sole incorporates a ASTM certified puncture plate and an air-port cushioned footbed.

The upper is a full grain, flesh out leather combined with 1000D Cordura. The leather portion of the upper also features drainage holes to release water and increase breathability.

www.rockyboots.com

Handheld Tablet Improves Situational Awareness for Marines

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

During Island Marauder 2019, Marines will demonstrate the effectiveness of several Marine Corps Systems Command technologies—including a handheld system that helps the warfighter navigate on the battlefield.

The Marine Air-Ground Task Force Common Handheld is a tablet-based communication system that enhances situational awareness on the battlefield. The device enables dismounted Marines to leverage commercial smart devices to plot and share locations.

The device includes pre-installed tactical applications to eliminate the need to juggle multiple technologies for various capabilities, lightening the load for the warfighter.

“MCH is essentially an interactive tactical mapping program with a GPS navigation software and a chat functionality,” said Maj. Richard Beeson, MCH project officer at MCSC. “The technology feeds the battalion’s current operational picture with real-time friendly force positions and allows this battlespace awareness to be shared down to the squad-leader level.”

The tablet feeds the information into Networking On-the-Move, while simultaneously transmitting it to the Combat Operations Center, where command leaders can use the information to make critical battlefield decisions.

Through MCH, commanders can disseminate orders, graphics and digital data, providing Marines the ability to visualize the commander’s intent and scheme of maneuver.

“It helps Marines to share enemy locations in real-time in an easily understood digital, moving map format,” added Beeson.

MCH enables warfighters to pass messages to one another in real-time—similar to text messaging—allowing the commander to make faster, more effective, decisions. It also assists the warfighter in deciphering whether an explosion was caused by enemy or friendly fire.

“MCH is a Command and Control situational awareness system that gives the squad leader and platoon commander a better understanding of the battlefield to make tactical decisions,” said Justin Meidinger, an engineer for MCH. “This system helps them have a better idea of what is going on around them.”

Earlier this year, the Corps fielded an early release version of the system to Marines. In fiscal year 2020, the warfighter will receive an updated version of the MCH that allows Marines to communicate with one another through several additional joint communication systems.

Later this month at Island Marauder, Marines will demonstrate the effectiveness and interoperability of MCH by linking it with other satellite technologies. The risk-assessment evaluation is intended to reduce miscommunication among Marines who use communication technologies. Beeson raved about the benefits of MCH and how the system supports the warfighter.

“MCH allows for communication, collaboration and coordinating among units,” said Beeson. “It helps everyone to be on same page. MCH increases the digital lethality of Marine infantry squads while reducing the risk of friendly fire.”

 

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

Marine Corps Awards Contract for Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle To Harris Corp

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

The Marine Corps has made the following Announcement:

Harris Corp., Roanoke, Virginia, is being awarded a maximum $249,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle systems; spare and repair parts; contractor logistics support; and test article refurbishment. Work will be performed in Roanoke, Virginia, and is expected to be complete by September 2024.Fiscal 2019 procurement (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $328,203 will be obligated at time of award and funds will expire the end of fiscal 2021.This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-19-D-1501).

Seen here is the Harris F5032 Lightweight Night Vision Binocular.

Features:
• Fixed or adjustable diopter lenses to minimize eye strain
• Single, self-contained AA battery with an alert when running low
• Auto and manual brightness available
• Auto shut-off functions only when the goggles are in the stowed position

These systems are intended for the Marine Corps’ Close Combat Force, consisting primarily of its Infantry.

Harris Corp’s night vision business is currently being purchased by the US subsidiary of Israel-based Elbit Systems (Elbit Systems of America). Harris recently was acquired by L3 Technologies, Inc and now goes by the name L3 Harris.

Marine Corps Announces Winners of Elbow, Knee Pads Prize Challenge

Friday, September 6th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command completed its second of a series of prize challenges in August, awarding cash to two businesses for their innovative ideas in creating knee and elbow pad protection for the warfighter.

The Knee and Elbow Pad Equipment Challenge called for innovators to submit ideas for replacing the Corps’ current knee and elbow padding. From May to July, MCSC received creative prototypes from various organizations—but two companies stood out from the rest.

Team G-Form, known for their padding technology for athletes, was the overall winning team, receiving $4,000. Team Viconic Defense—a Michigan-based company whose technology supports military vehicles—won the innovation prize and took home $1,000.

“We really wanted to explore the innovative market,” said Guy Callahan, the project officer for Cold Weather Clothing and Equipment in MCSC’s Infantry Combat Equipment program office. “The challenge enables new chemistry that affords a greater type of protection for knees and elbows.”

MCSC sought a padding solution to provide greater comfort and blunt-force protection that integrates into the Corps’ uniform, without compromising marksmanship, said Callahan. Based on the physical submissions received, a panel of Marines concluded that Team G-Force demonstrated the greatest overall potential for padding.

G-Form is honored to win Marine Corps Systems Command’s Knee and Elbow Pads Challenge,” said Glen Giovanucci, the company’s chief executive officer. “We pride ourselves in developing the best impact protection that is truly comfortable to wear. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our research and development, and factory operations teams.”

Team G-Form’s mission is to provide innovative gear comfortable enough to wear and strong enough to prevent injury. The company is an active participant in the Semper Fi Fund annual event in Grass Valley, California, and will donate their $4,000 prize to this event.

Many of the innovation submissions shared similar concepts. However, the panel decided that Team Viconic Defense offered the most cutting-edge solution and blunt-force protection. The company expressed appreciation for the recognition.

“It’s an honor for Viconic to win the Innovation Prize of the U. S. Marine Corps Knee and Elbow Pad Equipping Challenge,” said J.B. Audi, vice president for Viconic Defense. “Viconic is pleased to partner with the Marine Corps in the goal of better protecting our warfighters.”

Since 2010, the federal government has conducted more than 1,000 challenges and has awarded prizes to everyone from students to small business owners, according to challenge.gov. The Prize Challenge offers to the program office a cost-effective market research vehicle to identify the current market space.

In April, MCSC awarded monetary prizes for ideas to improve the Corps’ helmet retention system.

“These challenges offer some really cool, cutting-edge concepts,” said Callahan. “We get some very creative submissions.”

The competition leveled the playing field for smaller businesses with whom the Corps does not traditionally work, said Callahan. He said prize challenges spark interest in many innovators and give them an opportunity to support the warfighter.

“That is a significant benefit of these challenges,” said Callahan. “It gets your nontraditional market players out in the open.”

The prize challenge winners demonstrated the potential to use nontraditional materials to improve comfort and impact protection. Further research and development is required to determine the best method for integrating improvements into existing knee and elbow pads.

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

US Marine Corps Seeks Intense Cold Weather Boot

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

In a solicitation that was open for just two weeks, the Marine Corps is asking industry to provide up to 50,000 pairs of Intense Cold Weather Boots.

The abbreviated solicitation is because they are looking for one of these commercial styles which meets their requirement and have been previously evaluated: “Belleville Intense Cold Weather Style Number 455, Danner Fort Lewis Style Number 69110, Danner Acadia Style Number 69210, and Solomon (sic) Quest GTX Style Number L40723300.”


Belleville Intense Cold Weather Boot

However, as it must be Berry compliant, the Salomon boot is an unlikely option since they currently don’t have US production.

This boot will be used down to -20 deg F. It’s important to note that these are all leather boots, unlike the rubber construction Vapor Barrier Boot which has been used in this environment for decades. Unfortunately, the VB boot is no longer manufactured in the US.