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MCTSSA Conducts Systems Operability Testing Aboard USS Boxer

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.—Engineers and technical experts from Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity conducted systems operability testing in September aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) in support of 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit operations.

Amphibious warships must be able to sail in harm’s way and provide a rapid buildup of combat power ashore in the face of opposition. This requires cyber-enabled network Marines to integrate shipboard systems, and provide combatant commanders real-time command and control capabilities.

Capt. Victor Castro (left), Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity engineer, provides over-the-shoulder training to Cpl. Jonathan Parlett (right), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit data systems administer, during systems operability testing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) Sept. 5. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sky M. Laron)

“Whether you are fighting the ship or assaulting an objective, communications and information management are critical for mission success,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Ronald Dowdell, Boxer’s commanding officer. “The MCTSSA experts that came aboard the ship enhanced Navy and Marine Corps integration, and also enabled Boxer [Amphibious Ready Group] to become a more lethal force.”

The 11th MEU is a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine air-ground task force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations, to include enabling the introduction of follow-on forces and designated special operations in order to support the theater requirements of geographic combatant commanders.

The primary objective for the MCTSSA team was to assist the 11th MEU in integrating tactical command, control, communications and computers—or C4—systems into the afloat environment.

Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity engineers and technical experts tested various command and control systems in the afloat environment aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) Sept. 4-7 (From left: Derrek Bond, Rudy Banzali, Joe St. Onge, Will Santiago). (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sky M. Laron)

For Marines aboard ship, the Landing Force Operations Center, or LFOC, is the primary space for leaders to plan and execute amphibious operations. The functions of the LFOC mirror those of a Combat Operations Center, controlling and monitoring all landing force activities until command is established ashore.

“The support received from MCTSSA enabled months’ worth of troubleshooting systems checks to be completed in days, setting the stage for the 11th MEU to move forward with greater confidence in our amphibious C4 systems,” said Capt. Jeffrey Robbins, 11th MEU assistant communications officer.

The time spent optimizing systems in the LFOC and Supporting Arms Coordination Center allowed the MEU to validate critical satellite communications and digital fires systems, which will be used to plan and execute landing force fire support and amphibious operations, said Robbins.

Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian (right), commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, speaks with Capt. Ronald Dowdell (left), USS Boxer commanding officer, Sept. 13, aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). The familiarization tour came one week after engineers and technical experts from Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity conducted systems operability testing aboard the ship. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 David Ortiz)

“Both the 11th MEU and MCTSSA were equally invested in the effort,” said Capt. Caleb Wu, MCTSSA assistant naval systems integration officer. “It was great to see the two teams tackle difficult technical issues side by side.”

Many of the C4 systems integration issues that MEUs face at sea include: physical connectivity, power, space, network accessibility and throughput, data and voice communications, system configurations, information assurance and cybersecurity.

“MCTSSA’s presence onboard BOXER was absolutely invaluable, and they are the bridge that ensures that all blue in support of green communications suites are properly fine-tuned prior to the embarkation of the 11th MEU or any MEU,” said Ens. Joe Tran, Boxer communications officer. “All of our efforts are ultimately geared toward safe operations of the ship and supporting our combat power.”

Specifically, the testing supported engineering and risk reduction, identification, and possible elimination or development of work-arounds for any C4 interoperability issues.

“By resolving many of those concerns months prior to their first ‘at sea’ period, the 11th MEU is far more prepared for any work-up or deployment,” said Maj. Paxton Miller, MCTSSA naval systems integration officer. “As we better understand the requirements and challenges of how MEUs employ C2 systems aboard ship, the value of these events will continue to grow.”

Boxer is homeported at Naval Base San Diego. For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.

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.

By Sky M. Laron, Public Affairs Officer, MCTSSA

USMC Seeks P-Mag Compatible Ammo Pouches, Army Take Note

Friday, October 5th, 2018


Although the Marine Corps has adopted the Magpul PMAG, they don’t fit well in the currently issued ammunition pouch. To counter this, Marines have taken to cutting their pouches in order to accommodate their magazines.

But now, the Marine Corps is doing something about it. Yesterday, Program Manager Infantry Combat Equipment (PM ICE), Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), released a request for information to industry to identify potential sources for M4/M16 Magazine Pouches which will accept the PMAG.

In all, pouches should:
– Accommodate the 30 round MAGPUL M4/M16 magazines and standard 30 round M4/M16 Aluminum magazines.
– Be compatible with the current Pouch Attachment Ladder System for attachment to current load bearing equipment
– Provide a retention mechanism that allows for the magazine to be retained during normal combat operations
– Must allow the magazines to be smoothly drawn from the pouch with one hand.
– Must be configurable to allow for a single Marine to carry a minimum of 6 magazines on their person.
– Must be comprised of materials that meet current Near Infrared requirements.
– Must be compliant with Berry Amendment.
– Must be lighter than the current M4/M16 double/single rifle magazine pouch for a double magazine design (T= 0.27lbs) or lighter than half the weight of the current M4/M16 double/single rifle magazine pouch if a single magazine design (T=0.14lbs).
– PM ICE is planning to purchase a minimum of 60,000 with a possibility of up to the maximum quantity of 500,000 magazine pouches over the life of the contract. PM ICE expects a follow-on sustainment requirement over the life cycle of magazine pouches.

Interested parties have until Oct 31, 2018 12:00 pm Eastern. Visit www.fbo.gov for full details.

US Marine Corps Uses the GLARE HELIOS For Subterranean Training Exercise

Monday, October 1st, 2018

U.S. Marines illuminate a tunnel with the high power yet EyeSafe® green laser ocular interruption capability from B.E. Meyers & Co. as part of a subterranean training exercise in the Nevada desert.

SUBTERRANEAN FOCUS

With the U.S. Military accelerating its efforts to effectively address subterranean threats, it has become increasingly apparent that new and innovative applications for existing technology are necessary to maintain dominance on the battlefield, both above and below ground. Recently, the USMC performed a subterranean training exercise in the Nevada desert and observed that the illumination capabilities of the B.E. Meyers & Co. GLARE®  HELIOS™ Hail and Warning device far outweighed those of their white lights in the long, dark tunnels.

GLARE® FAMILY OF HAIL AND WARNING DEVICES

The 250 mW GLARE® HELIOS™ is the class 1M variant of the GLARE RECOIL®, the official Hail and Warning laser currently in use by the USMC as part of the Ocular Interrupter System (OIS) program (JETDS identifier LA-22/U). The LA-22/U was originally procured for EOF scenarios, however, it’s long-range illumination capabilities, and patented SmartRange™ technology make it the ideal illumination and designation system for a variety of other applications as well. The GLARE® HELIOS™ boasts the same potent dazzling and illumination capabilities as the LA-22/U, and is the only Hail and Warning device authorized by the FDA for use with Federal Agencies.

EXTENDED ILLUMINATION RANGE

Unlike white light illuminators, the divergence of the laser emitted by the GLARE® HELIOS™ is controlled by a motorized zoom and retains its illumination capabilities over extremely long distances. Compact white light systems that are currently available to soldiers are not sufficient for illuminating long stretches of pitch-black tunnel, and their low power keeps potential EOF scenarios within ranges that could pose a hazard to the operator.

Below is a GLARE® HELIOS™ compared against a weapon mounted white light illuminating a potential threat at over 100 yards. The extended standoff and illumination capabilities provided by the HELIOS™ are unmatched. With its patented EyeSafe® technology, and a divergence adjustment capable of 0.23° at its narrowest setting, the green beam is an ideal solution for any branch of military or law enforcement looking for compact, long-range illumination.

Pictured: Potential target is obscured at 100 yards with only white light illumination.

Pictured: Potential target is now illuminated at 100 yards with GLARE HELIOS™ laser.

The LA-22/U is available for procurement as NSN 5860-01-657-3893. It  is currently in production and being delivered by B.E. Meyers & Co., the sole source provider to MARCORSYSCOM for the $49M IDIQ Ocular Interruption System (OIS) program, contract number M67854-14-D-1040.

USMC Announces Industry Day For Low Intensity Threat Environment (LITE) Armor Plate

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Program Manager for Infantry Combat Equipment (PM ICE), Portfolio Manager Ground Combat Element Systems (PfM GCES), MCSC, has announced they will host an Industry Day for the upcoming LITE Plate solicitation 17-18 October 2018 at Get It Done (GID) Solutions LLC in Triangle, Virginia. It will include classified one-on-one sessions with the PM shop.

This is a follow up to the Industry RFI for lightweight armor plates issued last month.

The Low Intensity Threat Environment (LITE) Plate must be Berry Amendment compliant. It is a small arms protective hard armor insert that will improve the survivability and mobility of Marines by maximizing ballistic protection while minimizing the burdens of weight, bulk, and heat stress.

Interestingly, the NAICS code is 339113 (Surgical Appliance and Supplies Manufacturing) for this requirement.

Interested parties should visit www.fbo.gov for details.

MCTSSA Personnel Welcomes Vietnam Veterans, Share Legacy

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.— Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity welcomed Vietnam veterans from Marine Air Support Squadron 3 to MCTSSA’s headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton this summer.

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Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity personnel hosted U.S. Marine Corps veterans who served with Marine Air Support Squadron 3 in Vietnam and their family members, as part of a 50th reunion tour this summer aboard MCB Camp Pendleton. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sky M. Laron)

MCTSSA hosted the veterans and their family members, who hail from all over the country, as part of a 50th reunion tour that took them to various units across base.

As a Vietnam-era tactical technology support organization, MCTSSA has served the Marine Corps for nearly five decades and shares an aviation support-related background with the veterans.

Established in 1970, MCTSSA was formed around the nucleus of Marine Air Control Squadron 3, with its organic Tactical Computer Programming Section, which was recognized as the first computer automation effort by the Marine Corps.

Veterans who served at various times in the Marine Air Command and Control Systems, or MACCS, in Vietnam between 1966 and 1971 primarily supported close air support of fixed wing and helicopter aircraft in either the Direct Air Support Center or Air Support Radar Team.

MCTSSA Marines and civilians spoke with these battle-tested veterans about the past, present and future of radar and overall support of operating forces.

“This tour brought back memories of the radars we used in the Marine Air Control Squadrons in the 60s and 70s,” said retired Lt. Col. Charles Manazir, former MASS-3 air support officer and participating veteran, adding that he enjoyed the tour and thought it was very informative.

Manazir had high praise for the MCTSSA Marines who briefed the group of veterans.

“The Corps is still in good hands,” said Manazir. “You are carrying on our proud Marine Corps tradition, and we salute you.”

Another veteran who attended the event was retired Col. Ken Brown. Brown served with MASS-3 in Vietnam from February 1970 until June 1971, and holds the distinction of serving as MCTSSA’s commanding officer from 1990 to 1993.

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Then 1st Lt. Ken Brown poses in front of his unit in Danang, South Vietnam in 1970. Brown, a retired Marine Colonel and former Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity commanding officer, was part of a group of Vietnam veterans from Marine Air Support Squadron 3 that toured MCTSSA’s headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton this summer. (Courtesy photo)

Brown said he felt proud and privileged to have been one of the “caretakers” of the MCTSSA legacy.

“MCTSSA has some of the smartest people, both Marines and civilians, in the entire Marine Corps,” said Brown. “MCTSSA is a very unique and valuable asset, capable of being a key component for ensuring our Marines continue to receive the technology and systems needed on future battlefields.”

Full-scale use of electronic data in military conflict has come a long way since Vietnam and has fundamentally changed the nature, timeliness and availability of battlefield information, with MCTSSA being a key enabler along the way.

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Staff Sgt. Jedidiah Seiler, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity radar staff noncommissioned-officer-in-charge, discusses air search radar capabilities during a Vietnam veterans’ tour of MCTSSA this summer. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sky M. Laron)

This quantum leap in technology is even more significant, considering the state of electronic and computing technology during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Marine Corps’ version of a standard Navy tactical computer – known as the CP-808 – was about the size of a refrigerator; radar “graphic” displays located in a Tactical Air Operations Center were enormous, immobile cathode ray tubes that presented data as simple alpha-numeric blips on the screen; and the world’s first eight-bit microprocessor – the catalyst in opening the door to the powerful, inexpensive personal computers commonly used throughout the Marine Corps today – had just been invented.

Whether providing close air support fifty years ago or enabling successful deployment of today’s command and control gear, Marines past and present deliver.

“These Marines fought for their country from Da Nang to Khe Sahn and many points in between giving the operating forces the eyes they needed to put steel on target,” said Col. Robert Bailey, MCTSSA commanding officer. “They were operating the most sophisticated military equipment of that time and five decades later, Marines are continuing to operate the most advanced systems to win the day.”

The event concluded with a group photo and many handshakes to go around.

“Thank you very much for the time you spent sharing the now and the future of Marine Corps radar advancements,” said Bruce Meachim, a participating veteran who was a sergeant during his time with MASS-3. “I was and always will be a 5961 TPQ-10 radar tech, oh yeah, and a rifleman.”

MCTSSA, the only 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.

By Sky M. Laron, Public Affairs Officer, MCTSSA

USMC Seeks Hearing Enhancement Devices

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Currently, the USMC has a requirement for between 7000 and 65000 hearing enhancement devices over the next three years to be used in conjunction with, or in lieu of, the current Combat Arms Earplugs Marines already wear.

USMC photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe
The goal is to protect Marines’ hearing while increasing their situational awareness through a suite of devices. The systems can be circumaural (headset) or intra-aural (inner ear) but must include versions that are both communications enabled and versions that are not communications enabled. Regardless, they must work with Marine radios and the Enhanced Combat Helmet.

Consequently, the Marines have issued a Request for Information to industry.

In a press release, Steven Fontenot, project officer for Hearing, Eye Protection and Loadbearing Equipment in Program Manager Infantry Combat Equipment at Marine Corps Systems Command related, “Marines have the earplugs and they do provide protection, but sometimes they choose not to wear them because they want to be aware of their surroundings at all times. The new headset we want to acquire will allow Marines to wear hearing protection, yet still provide the opportunity to communicate and understand what is going on around them.”

He also explained that in February they seeded sample headsets to 220 infantry, artillery, reconnaissance and combat engineer Marines to ask their opinions on fit, form, function and comfort. Testing was conducted at the Air Force Research Laboratory and during live fire exercises with the Infantry Training Exercise 2018. Recon Marines also took headsets to Norway to conduct cold weather training and were pleased with the performance.

Based on the RFI, PM ICE plans to evaluate additional systems from industry, with procurement of systems beginning in 2020.

USMC Marksmanship Technology Demonstration 2018

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Each Fall, the Marine Corps Weapons Training Battalion hosts an opportunity for industry to show them what they’ve got cooking. This year’s Marksmanship Technology Demonstration will be held at Calvin A. Lloyd Range Complex, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico from 26-27 September 2018.  The MTD has been aligned with Modern Day Marine to take advantage of similar events.

MTD 2018 will focus on six technology areas:

1.      Small arms automated smart static targets
2.      Small arms automated smart mobile targets
3.      6.5mm, .260 Bolt/Gas Precision Rifles
4.      Simulation
5.      Integrated optics
6.      Small arms self-coaching and data tracking applications

Technology area number 3 is being requested for competition only with the Marine Corps Shooting Teams. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

The Marksmanship Technology Demonstration is not a tradeshow.  During the two day demonstration, a team of assessors will collect data on system performance and will provide feedback on their observations of the technologies presented.  Following the demonstration, promising technologies may be selected for extended user evaluations.

1. Automated Smart Static Target Systems

The Marine Corps is interested in a target system that can be installed on current standard Known/Unknown-Distance Ranges and equipment that provide immediate, accurate shot to shot feedback to shooters and coaches on the firing line. The Marine Corps is interested in target systems that meet the following specifications:
•· Able to accept variety of targets (i.e. CMP/NRA, IDPA, USPSA, Action)
•· Plot shots within a 2mm of accuracy, and capture the shot in a 6’x6′ window
•· Able to take in excess of 10,000 5.56mm impacts before requiring maintenance
•· Networked to record each shot and display on tablet/computer located on firing line
•· Able to support a 50 target frontage without interference from adjacent targets
•· Able to run off of shore or battery power for a minimum of 12 hours at full use. Optimal battery life in excess of 24 hours.
•· Function in all weather conditions (i.e. rain, snow, mist, fog)
•· System must be able to integrate with existing Marine Corps infrastructure, in order to ensure the original system may be used as a backup
•· Centralized data collection system

* Tablet/PDA

Automated target systems should come with tablets or communicate with personal electronic devices via website or App. The Marine Corps is interested in target systems that provide a tablet/PDA with the specifications of one or more of the following items:

Required Characteristics
•· Screen size shall be a minimum of 4 inches wide and 6 inches long
•· Man portable
•· Contain a rechargeable/removable battery
•· Will be visible in direct sunlight.
•· Capable of screen use with gloves.
•· Be contained in a replaceable shock and water resistant case.
•· Able to be connected with WiFi, Bluetooth, and with USB type cables.
•· Must meet MIL-STD 810G environmental/durability requirements

Desired Characteristics
•· Battery life in excess of 12 hours during continuous use with all functions enabled. Prefer 24 hours that function in weather temperatures from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
•· Display capable of being backlit for night use.
•· Able to be utilized in all weather conditions with wet hands and gloves.
•· Self-supported with provided viewing angles from 15 degrees to 90 degrees.
•· Drop resistant to 6 meters
•· Water proof (IP66K rating)

2. Autonomous / Smart Mobile Target Systems

The Marine Corps is interested in a target system that is a mobile, man sized 3-dimensional target that provides instant feedback to shooter and coach on a firing line. The Marine Corps is interested in a target system that meets the following specifications:
•· A 3-dimensional man-sized target
•· Able to move in any direction at variable /programmable speeds (2.5-10 mph)
•· Provides accurate, immediate shot location detection as well as a means to provide shot feedback to shooters and coaches at the shooter’s position.
•· A perimeter sensor system that could accurately depict misses around the target (6’x6′ example) that could be transmitted to a display located at the firing point for immediate coaching/shooter feedback.
•· The target should react (as programmed) to hits or misses.
•· The target could communicate with adjacent targets (Bluetooth example) and respond to each other to hits and misses (as programmed).
•· Ability to place two target types on one platform that could be “presented” to the shooter (hostile/non hostile example) as programmed.
•· The target could generate heat for thermal optics.
•· Able to take in excess of 10,000 300/7.62/5.56 mm round impacts before requiring maintenance
•· Maintenance cycle that needs to take in consideration hours/days of training required to support up to 22,000 shooters a year.
•· 10 hours sustained use before maintenance/recharging
•· Centralized data collection system
•· Ricochet resistant encapsulation

* Tablet/PDA

Automated target systems should come with tablets or communicate with personal electronic devices via website or app. The Marine Corps is interested in systems that meet the specifications of one or more of the following items:

Required Characteristics
•· Screen size shall be a minimum of 4 inches wide and 6 inches long
•· Man portable
•· Contain a rechargeable/removable battery
•· Will be visible in direct sunlight.
•· Capable of screen use with gloves.
•· Be contained in a replaceable shock and water resistant case.
•· Able to be connected with WiFi, Bluetooth, and with USB type cables.
•· Must meet MIL-STD 810G environmental/durability requirements

Desired Characteristics
•· Battery life in excess of 12 hours during continuous use with all functions enabled. Prefer 24 hours that function in weather temperatures from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
•· Display capable of being backlit for night use.
•· Able to be utilized in all weather conditions with wet hands and gloves.
•· Self-supported with provided viewing angles from 15 degrees to 90 degrees.
•· Drop resistant to 6 meters
•· Water proof (IP66K rating)

3. 6.5mm, .260 Bolt/Gas Precision Rifles

The Marine Corps Shooting Team is interested in rifles that incorporate technologies that are applicable to national and international competition. The Marine Corps Shooting Team is interested in a rifle that is guided by the following specific requirements:

Required Characteristics
•· Bolt Action Rifle
o Chambered in .260 or 6.5 Creedmoor
o Minimum of .7 MOA accuracy
o 22 to 26 inch barrel, 1:8 twist
o Chassis system or stock with ability to adjust length of pull, cheek height, etc.
o Picatinny or M-LOK mounts for bipod
o Short Action
o Adjustable trigger pull or fixed match-grade trigger 1.5 lbs pull weight, 1 or 2 stage
o Able to take 5 or 10 round magazines
o Action must have reinforced bolt stop

•· Gas Precision Rifle
o Chambered in .260 or 6.5 Creedmoor
o Minimum of 1 MOA accuracy
o 18-24 inch barrel, 1:8 twist
o Adjustable gas system
o M-LOK or Picatinny free floated rail system
o Adjustable trigger pull or fixed match-grade trigger 1.5 lbs pull weight, 1 or 2 stage

Desired Characteristics

•· Bolt Action Rifle
o Action has 2 lug with 90 degree throw, or 3 lug with 60-75 degree throw.
•· Gas Precision Rifle
o Adjustable Mass/Recoil Management system

4. Simulation

The Marine Corps is interested in simulated range and training environments which incorporate technologies that are applicable to current and future battlefields. The Marine Corps is interested in simulations that are guided by the following specific requirements:

Required Characteristics
•· Wireless Augmented Reality (AR) ready, 3D/4D environment
•· System must link users to allow Marines to interact within virtual world from any location
•· Intuitive controls that Marine operators can utilize with little training
•· Able to quickly design and implement maps/environments at operator level for training, i.e. towns, cities, weather conditions, terrain.
•· Able to accurately simulate friendly/enemy personnel, ground vehicles, ships, aircraft.
•· Intuitive AI to allow for both flexible and scripted scenarios. Must react realistically to user inputs, i.e. user firing at enemy.
•· System must be able to accurately simulate ballistics of current inventory of ammunition utilized in service weapons, i.e. M855, M855A1, AA11, A363, A483 etc.
•· Train shooters in basic and advanced marksmanship principals.
•· Train shooters in target engagements and transition drills.
•· Must provide threat and target discrimination training.
•· 360 degree threat / Non-threat training scenarios.
•· Facility must be able to be retrofit into current Marine Corps facilities or be custom designed.
•· Laser shot detection should be within the 780NM range.
•· Setup shall take no longer than 7 days
•· Tear down shall take no longer than 7 days

Desired Characteristics
•· Projectors and monitors have the ability to mount in multiple locations (floor, ceiling or walls)
•· Customizable scenarios to enable the Marine Corps to adjust training with new mission requirements, as well as meet current TTP’s, METL’s, and POI’s.
•· Aid in cognitive and ocular development, situational awareness, and target identification.
•· Retain the ability to train a shooter in decision fidelity, perceptual acuity and situational awareness.
•· Have the ability to control ambient lighting to increase target clarity.
•· Incorporate weight training to induce stress, physical fatigue and mental fatigue.
•· Marine must be able to utilize assigned service weapon (i.e. M4, M16, IAR, M9, etc.) through a ‘drop kit’ or similar means to effect the simulation by cycling his weapon system with 75% realistic recoil.
•· 4D Virtual Reality: Marine can move on a pad 360 degrees and will move virtual character. All movement of weapon and body are accurately depicted within simulation via motion capture, cameras or like systems. Complete immersion.

5. Integrated Optics

The Marine Corps is interested in optics that incorporates technologies that are applicable to current and future battlefields. The Marine Corps is interested in upgrades that meet the specifications of the following items:

Required Characteristics
•· Magnification from 0/1-8 power to PID threats (presence of weapon) out to 600M, and engage threats in close proximity
•· Must possess large and forgiving eye box and extended eye relief
•· Included ambidextrous capable feature to rapidly adjust magnification with non-firing hand
•· Electronic fire control system that diagnosis range, weather, elevation, and lead for a moving target within 0.5 seconds (objective), 1 second (threshold) and places an accurate “aim point dot” or appropriate “aim point reference” for the shooter to place on the target and engage.
•o Target data to include range, and direction (degrees/mils) is displayed within the objective lens for shooter to observe.
•o Bluetooth or WIFI capability to link and communicate with tablets, and communication suites found at the squad and platoon level.
•· Etched/mechanical reticle feature for engaging moving threats out to 150M and rapid ranging feature that accounts for average width of human head and of shoulders as back up for system failure or battery loss.
•· Compatible with clip-on current night vision or thermal imaging devices (e.g. PVS-24A, PAS-27, etc.)
•· Low profile elevation turret or cap – turrets locking or capped to prevent inadvertent loss of zero in combat conditions
•· Scope must return to zero after removal
•· Center of reticle must have daylight bright illuminated dot for close quarter use at 0/1 power.
•· Should meet MIL-STD 810G environmental/durability requirements

Desired Characteristics
•· Scalable and modular to accept future digital feature set and new reticles
•· Potential low end setting as red dot sight (RDS)
•· Optimized for mounting height over rail at 1.54-1.93″
•· Squad level networking and target designation capability
•· Visually displayed point of impact cue (drawing information from laser rangefinder and ballistic solvers, integral and/or external)

6. Small arms self-coaching and data tracking applications

The Marine Corps is interested in applications and devices able to coach Marines in marksmanship. These tools should allow Marines to track ability throughout their career, while enabling the USMC trained coaches a tool to aid in instruction. The Marine Corps is interested in products that meet the specifications of one or more of the following items:

Required Characteristics
•· Portable in design
•· Contain a removable battery
•· Able to analyze errors in application of fundamentals of marksmanship
•· Wireless operation via Bluetooth or WIFI
•· Battery life a minimum of 4 hours
•· Works during dry fire, simulator, and live fire training.
•· Able to diagnose marksmanship errors via attachment or drop in kit that wirelessly reports to user/coach.
•· Allow user/coach/target system to make entries on a ‘digital data-book’ that records each shot.
•· Product provided with storage case and charger.
•· Must meet MIL-STD 810G environmental/durability requirements
•· Provides predictive analytics to judge shooters performance against known standards.
•· Ability to be used in dry and live fire
•· Provide analysis of data from known standards

Desired Characteristics
•· Battery life in excess of 12 hours during continuous use with all functions enabled. Prefer 24 hours.
•· Application should be able to be used on multiple OS (android or Macintosh)
•· Capable of being connected to wireless enabled devices via blue tooth connection
•· Able to be utilized in all weather conditions
•· Drop resistant to 6 meters
•· Water proof (IP66K rating)

Responses are requested no later than 20 August 2018.

A list of selected companies will be posted to www.trngcmd.marines.mil/MarksmanshipTechDemo in August.

Interested parties shouod visit www.fbo.gov for full details.

Harvested HMMWV Parts Will Save Corps Millions, Increase Survivability of JLTV

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

A harvesting effort by Program Executive Officer Land Systems and Marine Corps Systems Command could save the Corps millions and make one of its newest vehicles more survivable.

The Gunner’s Protection Kit, managed by Infantry Weapons within MCSC’s Portfolio Manager Ground Combat Equipment Systems, is currently installed on High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. As a cost-savings measure, the kits will be removed from HMMWVs and installed on Joint Light Tactical Vehicles as they are fielded to the fleet next year. Using harvested parts instead of buying new potentially saves the Corps more than $100 million.

Logisticians and equipment specialists from Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Executive Officer Land Systems install a Marine Corps Transparent Armor Gun Shield on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle May 1. The installation is part of a cost-savings plan to harvest Gunner’s Protection Kits and other equipment from older High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and increase the JLTV’s survivability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Kristen Murphy)

“The harvesting strategy was developed by the JLTV Joint Program Office in 2012 as part of our efforts to meet affordability metrics for the program,” said Andy Rodgers, program manager for Light Tactical Vehicles in Program Executive Officer Land Systems. “Our collaboration with [Marine Corps Systems Command’s] Program Manager Infantry Weapons is key to that strategy.”

In the spring, logisticians and other program personnel from Infantry Weapons conducted a Proof of Principle, or PoP, going step by step through the process of removing a Marine Corps Transparent Armor Gun Shield—part of the GPK family of systems—from a HMMWV and placing it on a JLTV. The MCTAGS will be installed on the Heavy Guns Carrier JLTV variant.

Marines from 1st Battalion, 7th Marines prepare to load Joint Light Tactical Vehicles onto Landing Craft Utility boats in preparation for a JLTV Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation amphibious landing March 2, at Camp Pendleton, California. As part of a cost-savings plan, the Marine Corps will harvest Gunner’s Protection Kits and other equipment from older High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and install them on JLTVs to increase the new vehicles’ survivability. (U.S. Marine Corps courtesy photo)

The PoP will help the program office develop, verify and publish a modification instruction to guide the Corps through the installation process, said Kevin Marion, a logistics management specialist in Infantry Weapons.

“The PoP was successful,” Marion said. “We started with existing [instruction] manuals for the MCTAGS, and then added steps for putting it on the new vehicle. In addition to documenting the steps, it also gave us a chance to identify any parts that can’t be reused because the degree of serviceability is questionable.”

The JLTV program office has completed similar PoP efforts with the Improved TOW GPK, or I-TGPK, which will be installed on the Close Combat Weapons Carrier variant of the JLTV. The CCWC can be armed with TOW—tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided—missiles.

The JLTV is an Army-led light tactical vehicle program. It will partially replace the Army and Marine Corps HMMWV fleet, providing a more survivable vehicle, and closing an existing gap in payload, performance and protection. The JLTV comes in four variants with payloads ranging from 3,500 to 5,100 pounds of cargo, and can go more than 70 miles per hour as well as traverse over arduous terrain.

Although only two variants will be equipped with the MCTAGS or I-TGPK, all JLTVs will contain harvested radios, antennas and other communications equipment from HMMWVs.

“It’s our responsibility as MCSC to be good stewards of taxpayer money, so if we have equipment that is in good condition, we should go ahead and use it,” Marion said.

An advantage to Marines is the tactics, techniques and procedures will remain largely unchanged for the harvested equipment, so they already know how to operate it, Rodgers said.

The HMMWVs will be demilitarized and traded through the Equipment Exchange Program. This program enables the organization to work with commercial vendors who can sell or use the vehicles as they see fit.

“The exchange program is no cost to the government, and no money changes hands,” Rodgers said. “In exchange, the vendor buys equipment we may need like MCTAG covers or ring mounts for the JLTV, and they ship it wherever we need it.”

Once vehicle fielding begins next year, Marine Corps field service representatives will execute the harvesting plan for the units that receive them, Rodgers said. This is part of the program’s “total package fielding” plan.

“As we field the JLTV, we’ll collect the HMMWV, harvest the parts, install them and then return the new vehicles [to the units],” Rodgers said.

Fielding for the JLTV will begin in spring 2019 to the Marine Corps School of Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton, California; School of Infantry-East at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; and Motor Transport Maintenance Instructional Company at Camp Johnson, North Carolina. Fielding to the operating forces will begin in the summer of 2019. In all, the Army plans to purchase 49,000 JLTVs and the Marine Corps will purchase 9,091.

By Monique Randolph, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command