FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- On Sept. 13, Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Executive Officer Land Systems engaged with stakeholders and other key audiences during the Advanced Planning Briefing to Industry.
Held at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center, the event helped establish a foundation for industry’s investment in future Marine Corps technology needs.
“To ensure we employ the right technologies, we need your help,” said William Williford III, MCSC’s executive director. “That is why we’re here today.”
The planning briefing allowed the command to discuss current and future Marine Corps equipment needs, with portfolio managers on site to provide information and answer questions from industry.
During the event, MCSC representatives briefed stakeholders on several topics, including how to better protect acquisition technologies, evolving contracting opportunities, facts and myths about small business opportunities, and information about cyber security.
“We want to impart to you where we see the Marine Corps going in the future,” said Williford. “We have a lot of people here who can answer your questions.”
Williford opened the event by talking about the Commandant's Planning Guidance, which provides Gen. David Berger’s strategic direction for the Marine Corps. Williford and John Garner, the PEO LS, emphasized the importance of reading the CPG and how the 23-page document affects many facets of the Corps.
“If you haven’t read the Commandant's Planning Guidance, you need to,” said Garner. “It truly tells you where the Marine Corps is headed.”
Garner and Rob Cross, deputy PEO LS, outlined a few technologies set to field in the near future. Garner hopes industry can help the PEO continuously upgrade, modify and improve systems—such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar—to deal with ever-changing threats.
“Think in terms of flexibility, agility, speed of action, lethality and affordability,” Garner told the crowd.
Col. Brock McDaniel, the portfolio manager for MCSC’s Command Element Systems, talked about how Marine Corps systems must be streamlined, resilient and interoperable. He also outlined areas where industry can help the portfolio, including with improving cybersecurity, reducing size and weight, and decreasing costs.
“Our vision is to align with the CPG,” said McDaniel. “Our primary focus is modernization and trying to improve readiness.”
Karl Hellmann, an authorizing official for the Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency, spoke about National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual vulnerabilities identified at security reviews, including improper personnel security management and a lack of insider threat training.
He also talked about the realities of insider threats, which has contributed to the U.S. losing $600 billion annually in stolen intellectual property.
“Every cleared facility needs an insider threat program,” said Hellman.
The APBI served as a prelude to the Modern Day Marine Military Exposition, which was held Sept. 17-19 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. In recent years, MCSC and PEO LS participated in a “Report to Industry” session as part of the Expo. However, the APBI provided a platform for a full-day command-industry engagement in a controlled business environment.
Both the APBI and MDMME foster communication between the Marine Corps and industry. But the APBI differs from MDMME in that it focuses specifically on the acquisition process—the requirements for innovation and sustainment, platform acquisition priorities and program manager assessments. Conversely, MDMME is a military equipment exposition where industry representatives demonstrate their innovations to Marines.
Throughout the APBI, industry provided feedback to MCSC and PEO LS representatives. Many interactions occurred during breaks, when individuals conversed and exchanged contact information. Given the positive reception to the APBI, the command hopes the event becomes an annual occurrence.
“We can’t do what we do at the program office without industry’s help,” said McDaniel. “We very much appreciate teaming and partnering with you to solve our problems.”