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Archive for the ‘USMC’ Category

Galvion to Supply US Marine Corps with Squad Power Manager (SPM)

Friday, December 2nd, 2022

Galvion, a world leader in the design and manufacture of military power and data management solutions is pleased to announce that it has received a major order from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) for its Squad Power ManagerTM (SPM). The order, valued at USD $11 million, placed by the Power Team within Marine Corps System Command’s Logistics Combat Element Systems will supply SPMTM systems to each Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) within the Marine Corps, including Reserve Forces. The Squad Power Manager (SPM) is a core element of Galvion’s Nerv Centr® Active Systems range, which provides scalable power and data solutions to the dismounted operator. Deliveries will start in January 2023.

Named P2S2 (Portable Power Scavenger System) by the Marine Corps, the Galvion SPM kit provides a lightweight and compact multifunctional system to enable the harvesting of energy from multiple sources. Using a selection of cables, connectors and accessories, the system provides the ability to scavenge, distribute, and manage power from multiple power sources to include solar, Alternating Current (AC), Direct Current (DC), military batteries, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) plugs, and vehicle cigarette lighter/alternator attachments. The SPM kit contains adapters to power USB-powered equipment; radios, including the AN/PRC-148, AN/PRC-152 and AN/PRC-117; the Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR); and portable computing devices and peripheral equipment. The SPM kit can scavenge power from partially discharged batteries, vehicles, and standard electrical outlets and convert that power into a usable format for powering devices and recharging batteries.

The SPM system requires no special configuration or programming, converting and managing power as efficiently as possible depending on power sources and equipment needs. This allows teams to minimize weight and logistic burden by carrying fewer batteries, while increasing operational efficiency through active monitoring and management of power usage.

Kristen Lomastro, President of Active Systems, said: “We are proud to see our SPM kits being adopted by the Marine Corps. With customized SPM kits already in use across all U.S. DoD branches, including the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and SOCOM, this compact, intelligent power manager continues to deliver meaningful capability improvements that reduce the physical, cognitive and logistical burden on our warfighters. By providing the very best technical and engineering solutions possible, we help to increase their agility, lethality and survivability, and continue in our mission to protect and support those who protect us.”

Marines Update Female Hair Style Guidance

Monday, November 28th, 2022

Based on the final results of Uniform Board 220 and released in MARADMINS Number 615/22, the Marine Corps has authorized the following hair styles for female Marines:

Short hair length for female Marines.  Per CMC decision, twists are authorized for short hair (in all uniforms).

Medium hair length for female Marines.  Per CMC decision, medium length hair is defined as hair that does not extend beyond 2 inches below the base of the collar’s lower edge; however hair length must not obscure the collar rank insignia.  One unsecured half ponytail or up to two unsecured half braids (unsecured in this context is defined as hair on the crest / crown of the head is pulled back into a ponytail or braid(s) and the rest of the hair is left to fall naturally) that provides a neat and professional military appearance are authorized for medium hair length with the MCCUUs, flight suit, or physical training (PT) uniforms only.  Half ponytails / braids must be secured over the crest of the head but no lower than the crown of the head with a ponytail holder that is consistent with the hair color, and cannot extend beyond 2 inches below the base of the collar’s lower edge or interfere with the proper wear of any headgear. 

Long hair length for female Marines.  Per CMC decision, long hair is defined as hair that extends beyond 2 inches below the base of the collar’s lower edge.  When styled, long hair will be secured up so that it does not extend beyond 2 inches below the base of the collar’s lower edge, except when authorized in the physical training uniform.

There is no requirement to have tightly pulled back or slicked back hair at any length.

As always, Marine Corps Uniform Board information is available at www.hqmc.marines.mil/Agencies/Marine-Corps-Uniform-Board

FirstSpear Friday Focus: Happy Veterans Day, Happy Birthday USMC

Friday, November 11th, 2022

Today we honor and celebrate the bravery, sacrifice and steadfast resolve of our veterans. We live in a unique country that is blessed with individual freedoms the rest of the world can only envy. Thank you to all that have served for protecting those freedoms. From our FirstSpear family to yours, thank you for your honorable service and to those that continue to serve, you are admired in your endeavor.

Happiest of birthdays to the United States Marine Corps. May you have many more years of service to our great nation. “Semper Fidelis.”

Here are some familiar FirstSpear faces from far off places.

We proudly employ veterans. To learn more about FirstSpear, visit first-spear.com.

Happy Birthday Marines!

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

US Marine Air Traffic Controller Achieves Guinness World Record At MCAS Iwakuni

Thursday, October 13th, 2022

IWAKUNI, Japan —

“Don’t let your accomplishments define you. If you let one define you, then you will become that very thing forever. Always keep climbing for more,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Nahla Beard.

Beard has been stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan since 2019. Beard is of Iranian descent; her parents emigrated from Iran to the U.S. when they were in their 20’s to start a new life in California.

She is now an Air Traffic Control supervisor with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron who values physical fitness and is routinely setting new goals for herself and her fellow Marines.

“I wasn’t always into physical fitness,” said Beard. “ Just basic levels that were required of me, but during my second year in the military I hurt my back pretty badly which took almost nine months to recover from. When I felt like I was back at a hundred percent, I really started getting into fitness so I would avoid getting injured again.”

She started by putting more effort into aerobic physical training sessions that furthered her cardiovascular ability, with an emphasis on stretching afterward, which she says is something that some service members neglect from time to time.

“It’s not all about running and doing max pull-ups” Beard said. “In my experience, people don’t really take the time to have PTs that are dedicated to mobility and stretching.”

When Beard was a corporal, she led her shop in a PT program where they worked on their mobility and stretching. In a few weeks’ time, her Marines improved in their physical capabilities drastically and became significantly more proficient in their annual physical fitness evaluations.

She continues to focus on her agility and aerobic drills in order to improve her abilities and her resilience to injury, driven by a desire to never be in a physical slump for a long period of time again.

Her motivation to stay free from injury eventually culminated in a desire to push herself to the apex of her abilities. Beard was getting stronger, faster, and more efficient with her movements, and she began to develop a strong proclivity for a specific exercise that is one of the cornerstones of cardiovascular fitness: burpees. “I got into high intensity tactical training for a really long time and participated in the HITT competition they had on base,” Beard said. “That was really fun. It built my stamina to the point where I was able to do a lot of burpees and then that’s when I looked up the world record out of curiosity.”

For a time, Beard volunteered as a Physical Fitness Test Regulations for H&HS when the unit was running low on CPTRs. Over time, she decided to get certified, and now she conducts her own PFTs and CFTs with the H&HS operations office, or S-3.

Beard would later attempt the Guiness World Record for most chest-to-ground burpees in one minute for the female category. With three months of rigorous training to make sure her form was flawless, Beard would have to give all she had — and more — in order to break the record.

With the rules for a chest-to-ground burpee being different from a regular burpee, Beard wanted to make sure she did exactly what the rules dictated for the Guiness world record.

“During my three months of training I did a lot of burpees while timing myself and kept trying to break my last record. I then set it up according to the rules they had and tried to do it within the time limit.”

 U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Nahla Beard

In order for her to perform the correct technique for the burpees, she had to make sure her arms were extended out by her sides when her chest was on the ground, and when she jumped up in the air and landed, her feet and hands had to be the correct distance from tape markings on the ground.

On August 14 2021, Beard decided to put her body to the test and attempt to break the world record.

“It was a really cool day because a bunch of the command on base showed up with friends and family,” Beard said. “I ended up attempting five times on the same day because I wasn’t sure if I did it.”

Beard was uncompromising in her approach, deciding to do it multiple times to ensure that success would be hers that day and that all the hard work she put into herself would pay off and be symbolized in the coveted world record plaque.

“It was super nerve-wracking,” claimed Beard. The on-going coronavirus pandemic meant that she was not able to compete for the world record with a Guiness judge in person and instead had to record herself and submit her attempt virtually. “They had more delays than usual because it was the time of covid. They kept on emailing me asking for more evidence to help verify it more. When they gave me their final email my heart dropped for a bit when I saw the word “congratulations.”

She was elated by the good news. She achieved something that she could not have even dreamed of accomplishing just a couple of years ago. But with world record plaque in hand, it was all too real.

When asked if she would be attempting to break other Guinness world records, she did not keep it out of the question.

“Right now, I’m focusing more on powerlifting,” Beard said. “I’m trying to get my numbers up for that. A year ago I was in the 500 pound club and just last week I made it to the 700 pound club.”

Beard is now working on getting her bachelor’s degree in nutrition to further her education with fitness and perhaps make a career out of it.

Beard continues to inspire others with her initiative and physical prowess, showing others to never have a single incident define who you are for the rest of your life. Despite her early injuries, she built herself up stronger and more capable than before and achieved something that relatively few have ever accomplished.

Cpl Mitchell Austin, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

Redesigned with Marine Feedback in Mind, New PTU is out for Testing

Monday, October 10th, 2022



Last year, Marine Corps Systems Command received a requirement from the Marine Corps Uniform Board to redesign – and ultimately modernize – the Corps’ green-on-green physical training uniforms by incorporating industry trends to achieve better form, fit and function.

Although the initial prototype incorporated many innovations like anti-microbial technology, moisture-wicking, fast-drying fabrics and reflective elements, many Marines were unsatisfied with the new design and asked for some changes.

After last year’s successful limited user evaluation, MCSC’s Product Manager Clothing and Equipment team is back with a new and improved PT uniform prototype.

While the beloved “silkies” unfortunately will not be making a comeback, Kristine Bealmear, the PT uniform project officer with MCSC’s clothing and equipment team, feels confident that Marines will like the revised uniforms.

“I think they’re going to like them a lot better than the previous prototypes. I think the women are going to be a lot happier,” she said with a smile.

After all, it was the input of approximately 350 leathernecks that drove this round’s creative process.  

“The results from last year’s [limited user evaluation] were clear. The material was heavy. The shorts were long. The reflective material was restrictive. And so, we just kind of took all of that information and we went from there,” Bealmear explained. “The Marines are the ones that have to wear this uniform so it’s in our best interest to listen to what they have to say.”

Now, the PT uniform’s shorts are shorter and down to a 5-inch inseam. The PT uniform’s shirt material is lighter and the reflective striping down the back is thinner – a change that will allow Marines to remain cool and flexible as they exercise.           

“If you look at the new PT uniform, it does have a shorter inseam, which is more in line with what we see in industry. Industry trends come and go, so we look at every design detail individually and decide what we should apply today that could still be relevant to the Corps years from now,” said Emily Madden, a clothing designer supporting MCSC from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center.

One of the most exciting changes, however, is the shift away from gender-neutral sizing. 

“We found that gender-neutral sizing does not work well for our women Marines,” Bealmear explained. “With the last prototype, for example, we found that if the shirt fit them well across the bust line, it was too big in the neck. Same with the shorts – if they fit in the waist, they were probably tight across the hip line.”

“And so, we took all of that test data, a lot of pictures, a lot of feedback, and we made the necessary changes. Gender neutrality in design is a thing of the past.”

“I think it’s really important to make sure that all Marines have the proper fitting uniform for what their mission may require, in regards to fit, form and function,” Madden added.

But the design team was driven by more than just user feedback; they were also guided by industry best practices with innovation in fabric and design.

“We really leaned on industry to better understand manufacturing techniques and design details at a reasonable price point, but we also worked closely with our service partners from the Air Force, Space Force and Navy to better understand fabrics and material weights,” Madden explained. “Ultimately, we tried to leverage industry while still accommodating what a Marine could need or want.”

The new PT uniform isn’t ready for distribution across the Corps quite yet, though. MCSC’s clothing and equipment team is in the midst of conducting another user evaluation to solicit Marines’ feedback on the redesigned uniform. During the current evaluation, which started in September and runs for 30 days through October, the team issued PT uniforms to approximately 350 Marines, who were asked to wear and evaluate the new uniforms while they PT.

Afterward, the team will survey all evaluation participants in order to collect data related to the uniform’s form, fit, function and comfort. Participants will also take part in group discussions about their wear experience.

Ultimately, the team will take the results of the survey, group discussions and the initial fit assessment to determine any necessary changes to the redesigned PT uniform prototype. This rigorous process ensures the product is ready for use by Marines across the country.   

“I ask them to ‘use it and abuse it,’ as I like to say, because we really need that durability feedback from them,” Bealmear explained. “After the 30-day trial is done, we’ll go on to evaluating the results and make the necessary changes.”

“We think the new PT uniform accommodates fit, form and function of both male and female Marines. There will always be tweaks that we can find or improve upon, but we think we’re headed in the right direction,” she added.

Johannes Schmidt, MCSC Office Public Affairs and Communication

Photos by Ashley Calingo, Tonya Smith and Johannes Schmidt

Marines Want To Add New Caliber Option to Mk22 Advanced Sniper Rifle

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

In remarks this week during the Future Force Capabilities Conference presented by the National Defense Industrial Association in Austin, Texas, Marine Corps civilian Mr Chris Woodburn, Deputy, Maneuver Branch, Marine Corps Capabilities Development Directorate, mentioned that the Marines desired to add the capability to fire .300 Win Mag to the new Mk22 Advanced Sniper Rifle.

Currently beginning fielding, the Mk22 is manufactured by Barrett Firearms and offers the capability to fire 7.62 NATO and long with the new cartridges: XM1162 .338 Norma Magnum (NM) Armor Piercing (AP) (DODIC: AC32) and XM1163 .300 Norma Magnum (NM) Ball (DODIC: AC33). It is a joint service project being adopted by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and USSOCOM.

The Marine Corps is seeing great success with their current Mk13 Mod7 chambered in .300 WM. Since they have a reliable supply of .300 WM ammunition and their snipers are familiar with the round’s performance characteristics, they want to to add the capability to the Mk22.

Tomahawk Robotics Awarded $6.5M Contract with United States Marine Corps

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

MELBOURNE, Fla., Sept. 15, 2022 — Tomahawk Robotics is thrilled to announce the award of the Autonomy and Robotics Enhanced Multi-Domain Infantry Squad (ARTEMIS) program through the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL). The $6.5M award spans activities and deliveries scheduled from 2022 through 2024.

The ARTEMIS program builds on capabilities delivered under Tomahawk Robotics’ existing Radio Agile Integrated Device (RAID) contract with MCWL. With the ARTEMIS contract, Tomahawk Robotics will integrate six additional unmanned systems and several ground radios used by the US Marine Corps into the Kinesis Ecosystem.  These unmanned systems include both ground and airborne platforms in use by US Marine Corps Infantry Units.    

Brad Truesdell, Tomahawk Robotics’ CEO said “This is another major step forward in our work to deliver AI-enabled universal robotic command and control for our men and women in uniform. Through this program, we will deliver products providing for the safe, efficient, and intuitive control of robotic systems by the US Marine Corps.”

The ARTEMIS program leverages previous DoD investments to provide a fully integrated common control and communications solution for both air and ground unmanned systems. It will enable universal robotic control of legacy Program of Record (PoR) systems as well as next-generation unmanned systems, sensors, and payloads for dismounted Marine Corps units. Universal robotic control technologies provide infantry units with significant improvements in situational awareness, mission success, and lethality to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s battlefield.

Tomahawk Robotics is proud to support the Marine Corps and the US DoD through this work.