Streamlight Stinger 2020

Archive for the ‘USMC’ Category

Kongsberg Awarded Contract to Deliver XM914 Remote Weapon Stations to the US Marine Corps for the Marine Air Defense Integrated System

Monday, September 21st, 2020

JOHNSTOWN, Penn. – Sept. 21, 2020 – Kongsberg Protech Systems USA has been awarded a contract to qualify an XM914 (30mmx113mm) remote weapon station (RWS) in support of the United States Marine Corps’ (USMC) Program Manager Ground Based Air Defense Office. The systems will be integrated on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and will include a number of specialized counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) and air defense capabilities. Kongsberg USA will deliver test articles and assist the USMC in performing Design Verification Testing (DVT) toward future production deliveries.

The Kongsberg XM914 RWS is the first 30mm remote weapon station to be qualified on the JLTV platform. It includes the XM914E1 30mmx113mm DC driven cannon with a co-axial M240 (7.62mm) machine gun, an integration kit for the Stinger Air-To-Air Launcher (ATAL) and provisions for future C-UAS defeat systems. The XM914 RWS leverages a significant number of components, Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), and capabilities from other Kongsberg RWS and Medium Caliber Turrets already delivered to both the USMC and the United States Army to bring logistical support efficiencies and overall commonality.

“Although a new class of weapon and station, it is based on a proven design and previously qualified components to provide the Marine Corps with a low-risk system that reduces the burden of provisioning and training across the service,” said Jeff Wood, general manager, Kongsberg Protech Systems USA. “We are very excited to have been selected once again by the Marine Corps for a challenging RWS program. We look forward to helping them meet an aggressive delivery schedule and provide Marines with a critical lethality capability.”

Kongsberg was recently selected to design and manufacture the remote Medium Caliber Turret (MCT) for the United States Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)-30 program. Kongsberg also provides all medium weight RWS for the Corps’ ACV and AAV platforms.

Kongsberg is the world’s leading manufacturer of RWS, delivering nearly 20,000 RWS units to more than 20 countries worldwide. All RWS systems – including turrets – bound for U.S. customers are manufactured in Kongsberg’s Johnstown, Penn. facility with significant support from a U.S. supply base.   

Hide and Seek: Stalking With US Marine Scout Sniper Course Students

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. —

U.S. Marines with the Scout Sniper Course 2-20, Reconnaissance Training Company, Advanced Infantry Battalion, School of Infantry – West, participated in a stalking and infiltration course in the Romeo Training Area on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, July 26.

The Marines started at a designated grid point then moved forward by various means toward two observers. The objective was to close with a target, fire two shots and then exfiltrate from the training area. The trick is the Marines had to do it all without being detected by the observers. To help them in that, the Marines applied camouflage paint and built their own ghillie suits.

“The most important part of this exercise, in my opinion, is learning how to properly utilize camouflage,” said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Steven O’keefe, an instructor with the Scout Sniper Course. “The Marines must also learn to utilize the things in front and around them.”

Some challenges that add to the difficulty of stalking exercises are the different types and height of vegetation in the area, route selection, size of the area and the time of day.

 “The most important part of this exercise, in my opinion, is learning how to properly utilize camouflage.”

Staff Sgt. Steven O’keefe, Scout Sniper Course instructor

Camp Pendleton has over 25 stalking lanes for sniper training. The training areas differ by vegetation, size of the area and terrain.

Prior to this training the students participated in land navigation, classes on the basic infantry skills, live-fire exercises and other stalking lanes.

“The hardest part for me was moving to the final firing point without being detected,” said Lance Cpl. Norman Ballard a student with the Scout Sniper Course. “The vegetation in this lane is also taller, so that makes the final firing point difficult to find in this lane.”

The class started with over 20 Marines and is now expecting to graduate 14 when the 12-week course ends in late August. Between now and then, the Marines will conduct more ranges and stalking lanes, before finally ending with a culminating event that puts all the skills and knowledge they’ve gained from the course to the test.

By LCpl Drake Nickels

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

SIGMAN Camouflage SOP: A Guide to Reduce Physical Signature Under UAS

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Written by a group of US Marines, ‘SIGMAN Camouflage SOP: A Guide to Reduce Physical Signature Under UAS’ goes into great detail regarding signature management against Unmanned Aerial Systems.

The Marines have changed up their doctrine, adopting Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO), which require Fleet Marine Forces to support Navy sea control missions. This disperses small units along key littoral terrain. As you can imagine, our adversaries will be looking for them and one of the most effective means is via air, UAS in particular. Remaining hidden from these eyes in the sky isn’t just critical for mission success, but for survival.

Available for download from 2ndbn5thmar.com.

GAO Report – Military Parachutes: Observations on Army and Marine Corps Acquisition Programs

Monday, July 20th, 2020

The House Armed Services Committee directed the Government Accounting Office to review the Army and Marine Corps’ procurement of free fall parachutes.

Their report examines the acquisition strategies used by the Army and Marine Corps for their parachute programs and the extent to which the Army and Marine Corps programs are meeting their cost, schedule, and performance goals.

The Army awarded its contract for the Advanced Ram Air Parachute System—known as the RA-1—in 2011. The Marine Corps awarded its contract for the Enhanced-Multi Mission Parachute System—now called the PS-2—in 2018.

GAO found that both programs are on cost and schedule.

Download your copy here.

MARCORSYSCOM Launches Digital Platform for Marine Feedback

Friday, July 17th, 2020

QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command recently launched an easy-to-use, Common Access Card-enabled website that allows fleet Marines to provide feedback on the command’s communication equipment.

Equipment Feedback Portal offers an avenue for Marines to virtually submit feedback on Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance gear in real-time. C4ISR equipment includes MCSC-fielded systems such as ground radios, tactical tablets, satellite systems and more.

“The website gives fleet Marines the opportunity to provide Marine Corps Systems Command program offices with insight into the equipment they use every day,” said Kenneth Hess, MCSC’s Manpower Personal Training lead for the Program Manager for Command and Control Systems, who spearheaded the project.

In addition to helping Marines, the website assists program offices in identifying, maturing and adopting key technical capabilities to advance and revolutionize C4ISR information and spectrum capabilities. The information gathered through the site can be leveraged to influence future system upgrades and enhancements.

How it works:

Equipment Feedback Portal fosters open communication between the maker and the user. The process of submitting information begins with Marines, who provide feedback ranging from technical difficulties to ideas for enhancing the gear.

MCSC’s Portfolio Manager for Command Element Systems receives and analyzes the feedback. Leveraging existing processes between the fleet and acquisition and requirements communities, PfM CES will make recommendations to Combat Development and Integration for potential updates to systems.

Timelines for action vary depending on the complexity of the idea, but the Marine who submitted the feedback will be updated throughout the process.

“When Marines submit a message, they will receive an automatic response explaining the next steps in the process and that the program office will be in touch if we need more information,” said Hess.

While Equipment Feedback Portal is currently limited to CES equipment, Hess said MCSC may expand the site’s options in the future to include technologies within other portfolios and programs. This would allow more Marines to offer critical feedback on gear.

“The success of the pilot will allow us to judge whether or not to open the site across all of SYSCOM.”

Discovering new capabilities:

The moment that sparked the idea for Equipment Feedback Portal occurred in 2018, when Hess attended a New Equipment Training exercise for Networking On-the-Move—a satellite communication system that enables Marines to communicate while mobile—aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

While there, Hess learned that a young Marine discovered a way to connect a network cable from the NOTM server to the flight deck of a KC-130 aircraft, giving the flight crew internet access, including weather updates. It was a capability the crew did not have previously.

However, the unidentified Marine’s NOTM innovation did not become a widespread utility because no mechanism for sharing the idea existed for MCSC-fielded equipment. Hess felt the command should launch a site that encouraged creative ideas for enhancing system capabilities.

 “As we continue to equip the warfighter, we must listen intently to the warfighter.”

Sgt. Maj. Robin Fortner,
MCSC command sergeant major

“That was the moment that led to this idea,” said Hess. “We should be taking good ideas from Marines who use these systems and implementing them across the Marine Corps.”

Each day, Marines are employing equipment in ways beyond the intended mission. They are discovering new capabilities not realized when CD&I developed the requirement. Because Marines continue to push the capabilities of equipment, the need for a proactive program that solicits their feedback is paramount, said Hess.

The MCSC-run website will enable Marines to provide ideas that could be implemented throughout the Marine Corps.

“In many cases, we’re not capturing good ideas from Marines before they leave the service,” said Hess. “This is a mechanism to capture those ideas.”

MCTSSA involvement:

In 2019, Hess travelled to the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, to support a NET exercise for Tactical Service Oriented Architecture. There, he shared his idea for creating a platform designed to solicit Marine feedback with Maj. Lucas Burke, the director of MCTSSA’s Warfighter Support Division.

Burke suggested the WSD host the site.

“He mentioned his idea of creating a portal for user input,” said Burke. “I told him MCTSSA could help him host that on our site, because any Marine with a CAC can get to our site.”

MCTSSA’s WSD is responsible for hosting, developing and supporting this initiative through their current self-help website. Their CAC-enabled platform provides 24/7 support to Marines using more than 65 tactical systems.

“The MCTSSA Support Center is the single point-of-contact for FMF issues with MARCORSYSCOM C4I equipment,” said Burke. “It provides a platform for the entire Marine Corps—from the MEFs to Training Command—to reach back to MARCORSYSCOM directly and engage with system analysts, engineers, logisticians and program offices in a highly efficient manner to solve their problems.”

Rick Bobst, information systems manager for the WSD, helped Hess create the new Equipment Feedback Portal.

“With subject matter experts and professional interoperability experts contributing to the site daily, warfighters throughout the DOD can access and solve their issues, without the need to call or chat,” said Bobst. “We felt this was the ideal location to hang a submission form for this equipment feedback project.”

Senior leadership support:

MCSC senior leaders have expressed support for a platform like Equipment Feedback Portal, including Sgt. Maj. Robin Fortner, the command’s sergeant major.

Fortner supported MCTSSA’s efforts to communicate with the Operating Forces prior to Fleet Feedback Portal. She and other senior officials have discussed at length how MCTSSA’s initial efforts should expand to more Programs of Record.

“I was very happy to hear about the equipment feedback project from PfM CES,” said Fortner. “This is essential to speed and relevancy.”

Fortner understands the value of Marine feedback and how their opinions can benefit the Marine Corps. Since she assumed her role with MCSC in 2018, Fortner has emphasized the need for steady communication between the program offices and Marines to enhance and sustain equipment.

Equipment Feedback Portal supports this vision.

“As we continue to equip the warfighter, we must listen intently to the warfighter,” said Fortner. “I hope this program can bridge some of those communication gaps and that the feedback provided can help increase the capability of the equipment. We owe it to the warfighter.”

Marines can submit feedback by visiting Equipment Feedback Portal at mceits.usmc.mil/sites/MCTSSA/innovation/Pages/Equipment-Feedback-Portal. The website requires a CAC and is optimized for use with Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

By Matt Gonzales, Marine Corps Systems Command

US Marine Corps Intends To Sole Source Knights Armament Co NT-4 Suppressor

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Marine Corps Systems Command has published their intent to solicit and negotiate with only one source, specifically Knights Armament Co to purchase 5.56mm Small Arms Suppressors to be used on the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), M4 Carbine and M4A1 Close Quarter Battle Weapon. The Marines plan to field the KAC NT-4 to satisfy their requirement for close combat forces.

During last year’s NDIA Armaments Symposium, the Corps listed suppressors as a priority for their Squad Small Arms Capabilities.

In 2016 and 2017 the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions conducted experimentation utilizing an unspecified number of KAC suppressors from Joint Operational formerly issued to SOF. In 2017, the Marines issued a Sources Sought Notice to Industry for commercially available suppressors.

This planned purchase will supplement those already on hand to fulfill their fielding plan. However, this isn’t exactly the latest in suppressor technology.

On the plus side, it’s got an NSN: 1005-01-437-0324 which was issued by US Special Operations Command. Despite being around since 1998, it’s a workhorse, currently in use with loads of federal and local law enforcement agencies. Plus, it has already been fielded on the M38 Squad Designated Marksman Rifle which is an M27 IAR fitted with a Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T optic.

All of that sounds great right? Here’s where they lose me. The crux of their argument for sole sourcing the NT-4 isn’t that it has an NSN, not that they already have some. Instead, they push its compatibility with Bayonets, Collimators, Boresights and Blank Firing Adapters.

The KAC Small Arms Suppressor will enable the USMC to continue to use their existing bayonets, as well as their existing Small Arms Collimators (SAC), Laser Boresights (LBS), and Blank Firing Adapters (BFA), all of which are critical to accuracy and lethality in both training and combat. These items are interoperable with the current Small Arms Suppressor.

Since this a notice of intent, other companies can still submit (see SAMS for details) if they believe they meet these requirements.

Maj Gen James F Glynn Takes Command at MARSOC

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Marine Forces Special Operations Command hosted a change of command ceremony today, as the Marine Raiders bid farewell to Maj. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo and welcomed Maj. Gen. James F. Glynn.

Glynn returns to MARSOC to serve as it’s eighth commander, having previously served as the commanding officer of the Marine Raider Training Center from 2011-2013.

“You don’t get too many opportunities to come back to a unit,” said Glynn, “but when you come back, you stand among giants… people of character, people who care, people of concern that transcends the operational mission. It is personal.” Glynn summarized his feelings about taking command in three words. “Pride, at the opportunity to come back to this formation and have the opportunity to stand amongst you. Humility at the opportunity to command in an organization like this. And some would call it a burden of command. It is actually a privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of and to contribute to all the great things that this force and its families do.”

As the MARSOC commander, Glynn will be responsible for manning, training and equipping Marine Raiders for deployments in support of special operations missions across the globe. MARSOC maintains a continuous deployed presence in the areas of operations for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command.

“We have lots of stuff in the Marine Corps three Divisions, three Wings, three Logistics groups. We have one MARSOC, it is that unique,” said Gen. David H. Berger, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps and the senior officer presiding over the ceremony. “There is no part of the globe that this command does not operate in,” going on to explain how much the organization provides the service. “We get back so much from MARSOC in the Marine Corps, in equipment, in training…the most that we are going to draw from MARSOC in the next couple of years, is not a technique, it’s not a weapon and it’s not a radio. It is the focus on the individual.”

Also in attendance were Gen. Richard D. Clarke, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, previous commanders of MARSOC, and various dignitaries from the local government, as well as the Marine Corps and interagency.

“When I think of MARSOC, I always think of SOCOM’s Sparta. When you look at this force, it is 2% of our budget from SOCOM, 6% of our manpower, conducting over 10% of SOCOM’s missions globally.It’s a great payback for what we put into it. Much of it is the human capital invested…the great Marines represented out here on the field,” said Clarke.

Yoo departs the command after two years leading the organization. During his time commanding MARSOC, Yoo drove the implementation of MARSOF 2030, the vision document designed to shape and inform the next decade of acquisitions, capability development, and operations for the command. In the same vein, he merged the G-5 Plans Directorate, and the G-8 Requirements Directorate, creating the Combat Development and Integration Directorate to continue expanding MARSOC’s role beyond the traditional battlespace. Yoo directed the establishment of MARSOC’s Cyber Integration Working Group to build the command’s future cyber capability and implemented the annual Cognitive Raider Symposium to increases awareness and critical thinking of key issues facing the Department of Defense and Special Operations Forces.

“As a commander, your time is fast, and as the commandant eluded to, we are the caretaker of the organization and the organization is a reflection of the individuals,” said Yoo. “From the moment you take the colors as a commander, you hope you can move the organization forward and that the things you do will have lasting impacts. It has been a life time of honors to be a part of these different formations, but to conclude with you all here at MARSOC, makes me very, very grateful.”

MARSOC is the Marine Corps service component of U.S. Special Operations Command and was activated Feb. 24, 2006. Its mission is to train, organize, equip and deploy task-organized Marine special operations forces worldwide.

Story by Lance Cpl Christian Ayers, Marine Forces, Special Operations Command

Rocky’s USMC Jungle Boot Now Available at Rockyboots.com

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Rocky Boots, a leading manufacturer of commercial military footwear, is now offering its new United States Marine Corps jungle boots online at rockyboots.com. The tropical weather boot is Berry compliant, GSA approved, made in the U.S.A. and certified for use by the USMC, all while meeting the unique footwear needs of Marines operating in tropical climates.

“Rocky has a proud history of serving members of the U.S. military, and in recent years we have developed a number of specialized footwear styles for specific branches,” said Mark Dean, VP of Rocky’s commercial military division. “The jungle boot was built side-by-side with the Marine Corps to serve those who are deployed to tropical or warm weather locations.”

Designed for rugged performance and durability, the USMC Tropic Weather boot is constructed with flash- and water-resistant, flesh-out leather and 1000 Denier Cordura®. An aggressive Panama Vibram® Cupped outsole delivers unmatched stability and traction while shedding debris and providing shock absorption. The Rocky Air-Port™ footbed with Aegis microbe shield delivers comfort, while a puncture-resistant plate in the midsole provides protection under the foot.

USMC Tropic Weather Boot

Specifications:
• Made in the USA, Berry compliant
• GSA compliant
• Removable Rocky Air-port™ footbed
• Panama Vibram® Cupped Outsole
• Full-grain, flesh out leather with 1000 Denier nylon
• Flash- and water-resistant leather
• Extremely breathable and durable
• Padded collar for added comfort
• Certified with the USMC: April 2019

Available in men’s and women’s sizes 4-13, 14 and 15, the Tropic Weather boot has a suggested retail price of $250.

For more information on the Tropic Weather boots or other Rocky products, visit rockyboots.com.