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CHIPS Articles: Marine Corps rolls out tailored cyber acquisition strategy

Marine Corps rolls out tailored cyber acquisition strategy
By Emily Greene, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication - March 11, 2016
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia— Marine Corps Systems Command is tackling cyber acquisition head-on with enhanced oversight and governance, and new streamlined processes to better respond to the needs of the force.

The command’s cyber acquisition experts are working with the Marine Corps Cyber Task Force as it creates courses of action to address manpower, organizational, acquisition and other challenges for cyberspace operations. This update to the Corps’ approach to cyber warfare is in response to the Commandant’s vision to modernize offensive and defensive cyber operations in a volatile and complex operating environment.

Established in 2015 by MCSC Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, the Cyber Acquisition Team is tasked with developing a rapid cyber acquisition process to address urgent and emergency cyber requirements.

“The Marine Corps is placing a strong emphasis on improving management of our cyber operating environment,” said Harry Oldland, director of systems engineering and integration, and CAT team lead. “Our immediate role as the systems command of the Marine Corps is to provide that focused pursuit of accelerants to IT and cyberspace system acquisition to address critical requirements of today and tomorrow.”

The CAT will lead acquisition and fielding efforts for emergency requirements (less than 30 calendar days from statement of need to fielding) and assist program management offices, as needed, with urgent cyber requirements (30-180 calendar days from statement of need to fielding).

“The tailored rapid cyber acquisition process still conforms to all of the key activities associated with the traditional acquisition model,” Oldland said. “The primary key to successfully implement this process, compared to the traditional acquisition process, is accelerating the review and approval times for the required paperwork.”

The end goal is to provide speed to the Corps’ cyber warfighting capability while maintaining the discipline necessary for a unified, standardized and configuration-controlled Marine Corps Enterprise Network. These improvements will provide more responsive and effective support to the operational force.

Among other duties, Marine Corps Systems Command oversees the development and acquisition of all Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology systems.

Corps’ acquisition arm pursues accelerated cyber acquisition to respond to needs of force - Marines with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit set up network communications aboard the USS Boxer during an integration exercise in 2015. The Marine Corps is developing a fully unified command and control construct, integrating cyber and IT capability development processes and streamlining IT acquisition and procurement processes. These improvements will provide more responsive and effective support to the operational force. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Terika S. King
Corps’ acquisition arm pursues accelerated cyber acquisition to respond to needs of force - Marines with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit set up network communications aboard the USS Boxer during an integration exercise in 2015. The Marine Corps is developing a fully unified command and control construct, integrating cyber and IT capability development processes and streamlining IT acquisition and procurement processes. These improvements will provide more responsive and effective support to the operational force. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Terika S. King
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