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Red Team: Reserve Marines Simulate Cyberspace Attackers In Exercise Cyber Yankee 22

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

CAMP NETT, Conn. —

Cyber warfare is defined as the use of computer technology to disrupt the activities of a state or organization, especially the deliberate attack or defense of information systems for strategic or military purposes. If a successful cyber-attack was directed at a power utility grid, it would have the ability to cut off electricity and running water. In response to this potential threat, service members from all branches of the United States military work alongside industry professionals to simulate an attack and defense of the northeastern power grid and transmission system.

“The transmission system is just a bigger version of what you have in your house,” said. Jason LaDuke, a Company CEO of the electrical enclave. “It’s like a circuit breaker, but a much, much bigger system. So power flowing into a city is flowing over a specific line. If you could close those breakers you would effectively cut off power to the transmission system.”

Reserve Marines from Defensive Cyberspace Operations-Internal Defensive Measures Company B, 6th Communication Battalion, and Marines from the newly created Marine Innovation Unit (MIU), joined their active duty counterparts from 8th Communication Battalion, with help from a subject matter expert from Marine Cyber Auxiliary to participate in exercise Cyber Yankee June 13-17 2022 Camp Nett, Conn.

“Cyber Yankee is a joint effort between the national guards of the New England states. They try to build up their capabilities and respond to any attacks to the critical infrastructure in New England while building a partnership between the National Guard, industry partners and the other branches of the United States military,” said Lance Cpl. Miles Young, a data systems administrator for Defensive Cyberspace Operations-Internal Defensive Measures (DCO-IDM) Company B, 6th Communication Battalion. “The Marine Corps role in this is to simulate an attacker so that the defense can clearly evaluate how they are doing.”

During Cyber Yankee, the service members are divided up into red teams and blue teams, with the Marines participating as the red team. The red team acts as an attacking force while the blue team tries to defend their network.

“This exercise is red versus blue. This emulates four different threat actors that leverage the cyber kill chain to meet their end states.”

MSgt Mike McAllister, cyberspace operations chief, MIU

“Each one of the four actors have different end state objectives. They vary in levels of sophistication from a cyber-criminal or hacktivist that is doing nothing more than low risk access attempts that can be mitigated by very simple security controls and elevate all the way up to the most advanced threat act or using sophisticated means of initiating access with stealthy movement throughout the IT enclave and into the operational technology enclave where the critical infrastructure is located,” said Master Sgt. Mike McAllister, cyberspace operations chief, Marine Innovation Unit.

Cyber Yankee is currently the only exercise of its kind.

“Training like this event is hard to come by. It’s rare and there are no other exercises that take it to this level. The power grid is a very complex system. It’s essentially one of the biggest machines on the planet when you look at it all together. This exercise really drives that complication element because it is so fast paced and high energy similar to what would take place in a real attack,” explained LaDuke.

The ability for Reserve Marines to integrate with Active Component Marines and service members from other branches provided a valuable training experience as the potential threat of cyber warfare continues to evolve.

“Marines participate in regional exercises and provide red team capabilities to the Joint Force Reserve, National Guards, and industry professionals [as they] interface for regional utilities which means we’re going in and helping the blue teams refine their play books so if they are called to support utility companies or in disasters of cyber nature,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Sarich, an innovation laboratory specialist at Marine Innovation Unit.

The Reserve Marines from MIU also played an important role in Cyber Yankee 2022 and plan to continue to support similar exercises to bring in additional talent and subject matter expertise from the cyber and developmental support occupational fields. MIU leverages existing talent in the Marine Corps Reserve to address advanced technology challenges in order to accelerate the development of new capabilities. MIU houses coders who have the potential to bring a new skillset and in-depth challenges to the exercise.

“It’s good for us to participate in this exercise because it’s important for us to build our technical skills defending this kind of network because the critical infrastructure power and water have very specific systems most people don’t have experience defending,” said Young. “We get the opportunity to sharpen our skill sets and expand our knowledge.”

LCpl Ashley Corbo, Marine Corps Forces Reserves

Last WWII Medal of Honor Recipient To Lie In Honor At Capital Rotunda

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

According a joint announcement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority LeadeR Chuck Schumer, World War Two Veteran and retired Marine CW4 Woodrow “Woody” Williams will lie in honor in the United States Capitol Rotunda.


Photo from National WWII Museum.

Woody Williams, the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient, was a hero of World War II, serving in the United States Marine Corps and fighting in the Pacific Theater.  Best known for his valiant service at the Battle of Iwo Jima, Woody was awarded the military’s highest decoration for combat service, the Medal of Honor.  After the war, he devoted his life to caring for veterans and their families, working to bring Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments to more than a hundred communities across the country.

“Woody Williams embodied the best of America: living a life of duty, honor and courage,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.  “His fearless valor at Iwo Jima and throughout the Pacific Theater helped power an American victory over fascism in the Second World War and earned him a deeply deserved Medal of Honor.  When Woody lies in honor under the Capitol Dome, it will be with immense gratitude for his service that the Congress will pay tribute to this legendary hero — and all of the patriots who fought for our nation in World War II.”

“Woody Williams was an American hero who embodied the best of our country and the greatest generation,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “This is only a small tribute to someone who has made as impactful contributions to America as Woody and all our brave soldiers who fought against tyranny and defended our country in World War II. Whether it was for his acts of bravery in combat or his tireless advocacy for all veterans and their families, Woody made our entire country, especially his fellow West Virginians, proud.”

Currently, the casket of the West Virginia native is in the State Capitol in Charleston. CW4 Williams will take his place of honor in the nation’s Capitol after Congress returns from their summer recess.

H/T to W McN

US Marines Redesignate Littoral Combat Team, Realign Combat Logistics Battalion Under Marine Littoral Regiment

Monday, July 4th, 2022

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII —

The U.S. Marine Corps redesignated 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines as the 3rd Littoral Combat Team and realigned Combat Logistics Battalion 3 under the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment during two ceremonies held here June 23 and 24, 2022.

These actions, along with the activation of the 3rd Littoral Anti-Air Battalion in February, advance the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 modernization effort and mark the complete assembly of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment’s subordinate units. While the 3rd MLR is not envisioned to be fully operational for several years, these milestones represent substantial progress toward that end.

“This is a significant moment in Marine Corps history,” stated Col. Timothy S. Brady, commanding officer, 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment. “This transformation began two years ago when the Commandant of the Marine Corps laid out his guidance for the force of the future in Force Design 2030. Force Design 2030 is not static. We will continue to change and adapt through experimentation and training. We’ve been doing it since 1775, and nobody does it better than the United States Marines.”

The 3rd LCT will be organized, trained, and equipped to support sea control and sea denial operations in actively contested maritime spaces. The unit is purpose-built to integrate with naval platforms and units and to enable joint and allied organizations. 3rd LCT will conduct reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance, employ and enable multi-domain fires, and establish expeditionary sites to support a naval expeditionary force’s maritime campaign across the competition continuum.

“We are ready for the future; we are ready to train. We are showing up, ready to enhance the MLR’s number one priority; warfighting.”

-LtCol Osman Sesay, commanding officer, Combat Logistics Battalion 3

The 3rd LCT is organized with a headquarters company, three infantry companies, and a medium missile battery. When fully equipped, the medium missile battery will enable the Marine Littoral Regiment to target and strike maritime targets with anti-surface fires or provide battlefield intelligence to other platforms across the joint force in support of naval objectives.

CLB-3 is organized and trained to provide tactical logistics and explosive ordnance disposal support to sustain the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment’s operations. CLB-3 will conduct ground supply operations, ground equipment maintenance, explosive ordnance disposal, prepositioning supplies, general engineering operations, operational contract support, transporting supplies and equipment on land and from sea-based connectors, and provide health services.

“We are happy to join this new formation,” stated Lt. Col. Osman Sesay, commanding officer, Combat Logistics Battalion 3. “We are ready for the future; we are ready to train. We are showing up, ready to enhance the MLR’s number one priority: warfighting.”

The presence of 3rd MLR’s subordinate units allows for extensive training, experimentation, and wargaming. These units will continue to vigorously train, evaluate, adapt, and overcome to ensure the Marine Corps stays ready to fight on future battlefields.

“Through all of this change, one thing will always remain the same: our Warrior Ethos,” stated Col. Brady. “We are more lethal today than we have ever been in our history. We stand prepared and ready to fight now as part of the 3rd MLR and 3rd Marine Division.”

From July 1 to August 7, the 3rd MLR will participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise, where it will conduct expeditionary advanced base operations in support of joint, allied, and partnered forces.

For additional information on the MLR, contact 1stLt Isaac Liston at [email protected].

Story by 1stLt Isaac Liston, 3rd Marine Division

Photos by Cpl Patrick King

New Act Gives Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims Relief for a Limited Time

Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Beasley Allen lawyers are working to help anyone who lived, worked, or served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune maximize the benefits of the new Act by pursuing litigation against the federal government.

Montgomery, Ala. (June 23, 2022) – Congress has passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which applies to anyone who lived, worked, or served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 to 1987, including military personnel, guardsmen, reservists, military family members, and civilian employees who worked on the base. The Act is designed to help anyone who suffered injuries or death from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to bring a claim within two years from when the Act becomes effective. President Biden is expected to sign the Act in the coming weeks. Beasley Allen lawyers are working with clients eligible for relief under this Act and are pursuing litigation against the federal government on their behalf.

“Our clients and others dedicated their lives to serving our country; in return, they were poisoned with hazardous chemicals and left to suffer life-threatening injuries,” said Beasley Allen attorney Julia Merritt.

From 1953 to 1987, more than one million military service personnel and their families were exposed to contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina. The water was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, degreasers, chemicals used on heavy machinery, and more than 70 other highly toxic substances. The government knew about this contamination but took no action, ignoring warnings from experts, site inspections and reports, and comments from military service members and their families that the water tasted of chemicals.

“68 years after the contamination period started and 34 years after it ended, Congress finally acknowledged the damage the United States caused to its military population at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River. Now, victims have only a short time to bring claims,” said Beasley Allen attorney Trisha Green. “Unfortunately, many of the victims are unaware of this Act.”

Any person that resided at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987 and has a serious illness, miscarriage, or birth defect is potentially eligible for disability, health care, and compensation.

Common injuries include:

? Bladder Cancer

? Breast Cancer

? Cervical Cancer

? Esophageal Cancer

? Kidney Cancer

? Liver Cancer

? Lung Cancer

? Ovarian Cancer

? Stomach Cancer

? Birth Defects and Birth Injuries

? Miscarriage

? Multiple Myeloma and other Myelodysplastic Syndromes

? Adult Leukemia

? Aplastic Anemia and other Bone Marrow Conditions

? Parkinson’s Disease

? Renal Toxicity

? Neurobehavioral Effects

? And Death

The contaminated water was used for drinking, cooking, and bathing in enlisted family housing, barracks, schools, base hospitals, recreational areas, and administrative offices. Any individual who was present at Camp Lejeune during these years, including veterans, family members, civilian workers, reservists, and guardsmen may be eligible for relief under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Beasley Allen lawyers representing the plaintiffs are Toxic Torts Section Head Rhon Jones, Matt Petitt, Merritt, and Green.

About Beasley Allen Law Firm

Founded in 1979, Beasley Allen Law Firm is a leader in complex plaintiff litigation nationwide. We work with attorneys and clients nationwide and have offices located in Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Mobile, Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama. Our award-winning attorneys live by our creed of “helping those who need it most.” For more information about our firm, please visit us online at www.beasleyallen.com.

AeroVironment Awarded $6.2 Million Puma 3 AE Unmanned Aircraft Systems Contract by United States Marine Corps

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

• Puma 3 AE unmanned aircraft system delivers immediate tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in day or night maritime and land-based operations

• AeroVironment’s small unmanned aircraft systems comprise the majority of all unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) inventory; deployed by more than 50 allied governments

The Puma 3 All Environment (AE) unmanned aircraft system is rapidly deployable via hand-launch and can land in salt water, fresh water or on land. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabino Perez) Disclaimer: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

ARLINGTON, Va., June 14, 2022 –AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today announced receipt of a $6,166,952 firm-fixed-price contract award for Puma™ 3 AE small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) and spares on May 3, 2022, for the U.S. Marine Corps. Delivery is anticipated to be completed in July 2022.

“Puma 3 AE has proven itself as the ideal solution for low-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in any operational environment and continues to serve as the backbone of the U.S. Marine Corps Medium Range/Medium Endurance Forces,” said Trace Stevenson, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager for SUAS.

AeroVironment’s Puma 3 AE delivers mission critical capabilities in all environments. Puma 3 AE has a wingspan of 9.2 feet (2.8 meters), weighs 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) and can operate up to 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA). Multi-mission capable, operators can easily swap Puma 3 AE’s payloads quickly, selecting between the Mantis™ i45 and the enhanced night variant, Mantis i45 N. Puma 3 AE is launchable by hand, bungee, rail, or vehicle, and is recoverable by deep-stall landing, providing class-leading capabilities in challenging environments around the world.

AeroVironment’s SUAS comprise the majority of all unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) inventory, and its rapidly growing international customer base numbers more than 50 allied governments, including the Ukraine. To learn more, visit www.avinc.com.

F-35C Brings Advanced Strike Capabilities to Jungle Warfare Exercise

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

SAN DIEGO – As 3rd Marine Division recently commenced Jungle Warfare Exercise 22 (JWX 22), a large-scale, joint force exercise, Marine Wing Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314 integrated the capabilities of the F-35C Lightning II. VMFA-314 supported ground operations from their position deployed onboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), displaying their ability to deliver long-range strike capabilities and close air support from an aircraft carrier.

VMFA-314, the first Marine squadron to deploy the F-35C, continued to demonstrate its proficiencies during JWX 22 by conducting simulated offensive and defensive air support, as well as air-to-ground support training missions alongside the Marines of 1st Marine Air Wing, Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces and the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in support of Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO).

“The opportunity to work alongside Navy and Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces allows us to demonstrate our forward presence and to showcase our readiness to support real world operations,” said Lt. Col. Brendan M. Walsh, VMFA-314 Commanding Officer. “Leveraging the Marine Corps’ decade of experience with the F-35B, we have spent the last two years working with the Navy to ensure the successful integration of the F-35C into the Carrier Air Wing and are now able to provide improved battlespace awareness and unmatched lethality.”

The integration of VMFA-314 and the F-35C into the Carrier Air Wing enables U.S. naval forces the ability to launch and recover fifth-generation aircraft from nearly anywhere in the world and to relocate to new strategic locations. The employment of the F-35C provides Marine ground units stealth capabilities and combat power to create the conditions for follow-on operations within key maritime terrain.

Exercises such as JWX 22 allow squadrons operating the F-35C to integrate tactics in conjunction with ground forces to help advance expeditionary capabilities such as EABO. These rehearsals of engagements will serve to reduce response times of forward-deployed units and support the continued prosperity, security and promise of a free and open, rules-based order for the U.S. and its alliances and partnerships.

With continued deployments of fifth-generation fighters onto highly mobile aircraft carriers, the F-35C is able to provide precision long-range strike capabilities to allies while also garnering valuable intelligence from areas of operation, all while operating from at-sea or shore-based austere environments.

VMFA-314 was the first Marine Corps squadron to transition to the F-35C variant of the joint strike fighter after retiring its legacy F/A-18A/C aircraft and receiving its first F-35C on Jan. 21, 2020. Now as the Marine Corps continues to develop as a modernized naval force, deploying squadrons such as VMFA-314, to key strategic maritime locations demonstrates the Marine Corps’ capability to deter adversary aggression, and if required, decisively win in conflict.

Written by Capt Charles Allen, 3rd MAW Communication Strategy and Operations Office. 

U.S. Marine Corps C-UAS Program Kicks off U.S. Production

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

MADIS production moves to Kongsberg’s world-class RWS facility in Pennsylvania

JOHNSTOWN, Penn. – May 23, 2021 – Production of the Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) Remote Weapon Station (RWS) has successfully moved from Kongsberg, Norway to Kongsberg Protech Systems USA in Johnstown, Penn. with the inaugural system completing assembly and testing in March. Additional systems are also being built for MADIS as part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) modernization effort.

“Kongsberg’s Johnstown facility consistently yields remote weapon station manufacturing excellence, having produced more than 20,000 systems over the last 15 years. Our highly trained and skilled staff partnered with engineers and staff from Norway to successfully transition the production of all MADIS RWS to the Pennsylvania facility as part of our schedule and contract with the U.S. Marine Corps,” said Jason Toepfer, project manager, MADIS RWS, Kongsberg Protech Systems. “The successful build of this inaugural system exemplifies our rigorous processes, joining the 5 prototype and test assets we’ve produced for the Marine Corps in Norway. This also kicks off MADIS RWS production here in the U.S., a move that allows us to better support this customer and deliver this critical lethality enhancement.”

The KONGSBERG RS6 RWS for MADIS RWS includes the XM914E1 30mmx113mm percussion-primed cannon with a co-axial M240C (7.62mm) machine gun, an integration kit for the STINGER Air-To-Air Launcher (ATAL) and provisions for future C-UAS defeat systems. MADIS is part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ plan to upgrade their two active Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) battalions. The first 30mm remote weapon system to be qualified on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle platform (JLTV), MADIS RWS mounts on JLTVs and fights as a complimentary pair, designated as Mk1 and Mk2. The MADIS Mk1 features STINGER missiles, and neutralizes fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. Mk2 fulfills the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) mission requirement, while also providing radar and command-and-control for the pair.

The U.S. Marine Corps awarded Kongsberg the indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity other transaction authority (OTA) production contract in Sept. 2021. It has a ceiling of $94 million and includes a series of Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) systems, full-rate production units, spares and training. This production contract award followed a Sept. 2020 OTA contract award from the USMC to KONGSBERG for test articles and activities, which included Design Verification Testing (DVT), after a competitive process.

The KONGSBERG RS6 RWS for MADIS leverages technology and competence drawn from multiple counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) and air defense programs. The system leverages commonality with the family of PROTECTOR RWS delivered and fielded with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

FirstSpear Friday Focus: USMC GEN III Flotation Cummerbund

Friday, May 20th, 2022

Life-Saving Flotation System For American Warfighters.

Recently showcased at Modern Day Marine May 10-12, 2022 (Pictured above is the current USMC PC GEN III with existing issued cummerbund on the right side, as worn, and the FirstSpear USMC GEN III Flotation Cummerbund on the left.

The USMC GEN III Flotation Cummerbund is FirstSpear’s answer to the United States Marine Corps need for life-saving kit during maritime operations.

This cummerbund features a 6/12™ Laser Fused Platform for weight reduction and Tubes® Fasteners, which are already being used on the current USMC PC GEN III. Tubes® Fasteners allow for easy everyday donning and doffing as well as emergencies.

Featuring a top access panel, the cummerbund allows users easy access to the 38 gram CO2 cartridge for pre-mission checks and inspection. The CTAF (Cummerbund Tactical Aid to Flotation) is designed to be user friendly with repacking and maintenance at the unit level.

Authorized for Naval Use (ANU), this CTAF (Cummerbund Tactical Aid to Flotation) is on contract with DOD. Compatible with all sizes of the USMC GEN III plate carrier, the cummerbund fits 6” x 8” and 6” x 6” sides plates and requires no modifications to the current USMC PC GEN III.

Check out FirstSpear for more cutting-edge innovation.