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Archive for the ‘USMC’ Category

USMC Fields M38 Squad Designated Marksman Rifle

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

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Back in May we told you that the US Marine Corps planned to field M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles Equipped with 3-9x scopes as Squad Designated Marksman Rifles. Apparently, work began not long after and units are now equipped with the rifle, designated as the M38. The Marines adopted the 5.56mm M27 in 2011 to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in the infantry squad. The M27 is manufactured by Heckler & Koch and is based on the HK416.

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The optic actually used has been identified as the Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T 2.5-8x36mm with a tuned Mk262 77gr turret. Interestingly, the Marines are supposed to transition to the M855A1 round this year.

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In these photos, Marines with 3rd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment fire the M38 Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle during a live-fire weapons exercise at range F-18 on Camp Lejeune, NC, Dec. 8, 2017. Photos by LCpl Michaela R. Gregory.

Marine Corps Fields “Game Changer” Biometric Data Collection System

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — In September, Marine Corps Systems Command completed fielding a new biometrics system to help deployed Marines identify and track the movement of individuals encountered on the battlefield, conduct entry control point operations, and determine who is a friend or foe.

Identity Dominance System-Marine Corps, or IDS-MC, is a simple and effective biometric data collection, matching, and transaction management system that is composed of a handheld device, known as the Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit, and a laptop computer with specialized biometric collection sensors and a badge printer.

IDS-MC replaces the Biometric Enrollment and Screening Device to assist with detainee management and questioning, base access, counterintelligence screening, border control and law enforcement operations. Unlike the BESD, IDS-MC’s transactional data management capability conveniently collects, shares, matches and stores identity information immediately, allowing the user to connect to the Tactical Data Network, manage and submit collected data and receive responses and feedback on submissions. This improves on the legacy system, which could take days to download data via a CD or DVD, and then Marines had to transmit that vital identity information from a separately connected computing system. This process was not only logistically cumbersome, but the latency in data submission and response receipt created force protection mission challenges for the Marine.

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Marines conduct a field user evaluation for the Identity Dominance System-Marine Corps, or IDS-MC, in Dahlgren, Virginia. In September, Marine Corps Systems Command completed fielding of the IDS-MC, which is a new biometrics system to help deployed Marines identify and track the movement of individuals encountered on the battlefield, conduct entry control point operations, and determine who is a friend or foe.

“The IDS-MC is more convenient because it connects directly to the Marine Corps’ Tactical Data Network, allowing Marines to share data and submit biometrics and receive the responses effortlessly,” said Sarah Swift, Identity Operations Team lead for Biometrics and Forensics Systems at MCSC.

To develop the IDS-MC, the Identity Operations Team identified a need for a portable, easy-to-use system via feedback from Marines in the fleet. The system was created to directly address the specific needs of Marine Expeditionary Forces in a contested environment.

Using IDS-MC, Marines collect biometric data by capturing a person of interest’s fingerprints, iris and face images. That data can then be matched with pre-existing information onboard the system, either on a BEWL or other lists, such as an access control list used for base force protection. The IDS-MC also has the capability to capture location, biographical and any other reference data that may be useful to an intelligence analyst now or in the future.

The IDS-MC user submits biometric information to the Department of Defense’s Automated Biometric Identification System authoritative database via a web portal, allowing data to be shared across the Biometrics enterprise, and also aiding in the creation of the DoD extensive Biometric-Enabled Watch List, or BEWL. The BEWL contains an ongoing collection of biometric intelligence that helps users determine what actions to take immediately when they encounter a person of interest. Additionally, the Marine Corps Intelligence Agency Identity Intelligence Analytical Cell, or MCIA I2AC, reviews the IDS-MC user’s biometrics submissions and other collected biographical and reference data, and provides direct support to the submitting Marines, providing them analysis reports and intelligence products for potential Persons of Interest.

“The BEWL helps Marines match nefarious people they might encounter anywhere in the world to the ones listed in the database,” said Swift. “We support Marines by providing them the most up to date BEWL, and then they can collect a person’s biometrics. If it shows up in the system as a match, they’ll be notified with a pop-up on the device.”

“All of this provides the Marine Air-Ground Task Force with the ability to rapidly and efficiently identify people encountered in the battle space in support of targeting, military intelligence, law enforcement operations and force protection,” said Maj. Keystella Mitchell, project officer for IDS-MC.

In addition to identifying known threats, the system also collects information on potential future threats and stores it for future reference. If an individual is a match in the system, Marines are able to immediately receive that information and use it to inform on-the-spot decisions.

“It can be difficult to determine who the enemy is because they truly blend in with their surroundings,” said Mitchell. “The IDS-MC is a game changer and force multiplier as a connected system for the commander on the ground because they can identify the threat and take action much quicker than before.”

In addition to the planned fielding of the IDS-MC system, an urgent system quantity shortfall was identified by the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force and Marine Corps Forces Central Command customers. This required an unplanned increase in the number of production assets which required a fielding re-prioritization strategy, additional rapid procurement and integration. The Identity Operations Team adapted its strategy, and within two months of validating the requirement, it fielded the additional systems.

The fielding of the IDS-MC system has led to a 154 percent increase in the biometric collections submitted to MCIA I2AC and resulted in 11 watch list hits in just the first month of fielding.

The IDS-MC is managed by the Identity Operations Team which falls under Command Element Systems at MCSC.

By Kaitlin Kelly, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication

Happy Birthday Marines!

Friday, November 10th, 2017

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The story goes that by 1918, the US Marines were fully employed putting foot to Central Power ass, but when the Germans saw how hard the Devil Dogs partied on their birthday, they promptly surrendered the next morning. That’s right, the service that was founded in a Tavern is why we celebrate Armistice Day on 11 November.

Thanks for keeping the world safe Marines!

The Corps’ Secret Agents Get Their Own 007

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — The Marine Corps is equipping Marines with a new weapon, providing enhanced concealed carry capabilities at an accelerated rate and lower cost to the Corps.

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Individual Weapons project officer Gunnery Sgt. Brian Nelson prepares to draw the M007 concealed carry weapon. The M007 offers enhanced concealed carry capabilities, which includes a smaller frame, ambidextrous slide stop lever and flared magazine well. Marine Corps Systems Command recently fielded the M007 to Marine and civilian CID agents and members of Helicopter Squadron One. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Jennifer Napier)

The Glock 19M–called the M007 by the Corps–replaces the M9 service pistol for personnel requiring a weapon that can be easily concealed.

The Marine Corps requires that all accredited Marine Corps Criminal Investigators, both civilian and military, be armed with a concealable pistol when on duty in civilian attire. This concealed weapon capability ensures those performing official duties–such as law enforcement or security personnel–are not readily identified as being armed.

“The M007 has a smaller frame and is easier to conceal, making it a natural selection to meet the Marine Corps’ conceal carry weapon requirement,” said Gunnery Sgt. Brian Nelson, Individual Weapons project officer at Marine Corps Systems Command.

In coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which adopted the weapon in 2016, the Corps fielded the M007 earlier this year to Marines and civilians in the Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division, as well as members of Helicopter Squadron One–also known as Marine One.

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Marine Corps Systems Command is equipping Marine and civilian CID agents and members of Helicopter Squadron One with the M007. The M007 offers enhanced concealed carry capabilities, which includes a smaller frame, ambidextrous slide stop lever and flared magazine well. The weapon’s smaller frame makes it easier to conceal, as demonstrated in the photo. (U.S. Marine Corps graphic)

Aside from concealability, the M007 has several physical improvements over its predecessor. The grip lacks finger grooves but has a textured frame, improving the ergonomics of the weapon and providing a consistently comfortable grip with traction for a wider range of users. The ambidextrous slide stop allows for both right- and left-handed use. The magazine release of the M007 can also be changed and the magazine well is flared, making the system easier to reload, said Nelson.

Collaboration between the product team at MCSC and the FBI played a key role in the Corps’ ability to hasten the otherwise lengthy acquisition process.

“The fielding of the M007 is an example of how we can streamline the acquisition process by reviewing another service or agency’s test data to see if it fits the Marine Corps’ need,” said Lt. Col. Paul Gillikin, Infantry Weapons team lead at MCSC. “We received the initial request for a new concealed carry weapon system in April 2016. By collaborating with the FBI, we were able to procure, establish sustainability plans and start fielding the weapon to Marines by May 2017.”

Typically, the acquisition process of a new weapons system–from the time the requirement is received by MCSC to the time the system is fielded to the fleet–takes months, if not years, to complete. By leveraging thorough test data performed by the FBI, MCSC’s team reduced their own testing time. The team also carefully planned to ensure the M007 is fully supported, sustainable, and meets all logistics and safety requirements, enabling MCSC to meet and deliver the concealed carry weapons systems Marines need in a relatively quick turnaround time, said Gillikin.

Program Manager Infantry Weapons, which falls under MCSC’s Ground Combat Element Systems portfolio, manages the concealed carry weapons program for the Marine Corps.

By Ashley Calingo, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication