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CHIPS Articles: Marine Corps Activates Network Activity - National Capital Region to Provide Unity of Command and Effort to the Enterprise Network

Marine Corps Activates Network Activity - National Capital Region to Provide Unity of Command and Effort to the Enterprise Network
By Staff Sgt. Jacob Osborne, Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command - September 8, 2020
QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps is modernizing how it commands and controls its enterprise network. Now a dedicated group will upgrade the Corps’ ability to prevent and counter adversarial cyber-attacks and minimize network disruptions and outages.

Sept. 2 in Quantico, Virginia, the Marine Corps stood up Network Activity - National Capital Region, the second network focused unit following the model pioneered by the 1st Network Battalion out of Camp Pendleton, California. The network activity will command and control the Marine Corps Enterprise Network within the NCR.

“This will realign the workforce and all of its resources; I’m talking about people and money,” said Col. Edward J. Debish, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group, while speaking to the civilians and Marines of Network Activity NCR during an activation ceremony.

The MCEN is the Marine Corps’ communications backbone connecting computers, people, and related devices. The network provides robust, seamless, and secure end-to-end communications for all Marines; from the supporting establishment to forward-deployed forces.

In total, the Marine Corps is establishing three network battalions and three network activities. The network battalions provide general support to the Marine Expeditionary Forces, while the network activities are assigned to a geographic region and tailored to the supported establishments.

“This will realign the workforce and all of its resources; I’m talking about people and money."

~ Col. Edward J. Debish, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group

In the past, there were seven commanders in eight regions providing command and control of the MCEN. “What this does for the Marine Corps, the big bang for our buck, is it provides unity of command and unity of effort,” said Debish. “We all have one commander now. All the network battalions and activities will work for the commanding officer of the MCCOG and they all report to Maj. Gen. Mathew G. Glavy.”

While speaking to the Marines, Debish added, “you are the first network activity to stand up in the Marine Corps. You guys are now plank holders, you guys are the seed that is going to grow into something that is going to allow us to have command and control over the enterprise networks.

Patrick Scholes, director of Network Activity - NCR told the Marines “we have a special mission here.” He added, “What we do here supports the warfighter directly.”

When the MCEN command and control modernization implementation plan is complete, it will empower commanders to respond faster than ever before.

For more information about technology occupations in the Marine Corps, visit Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command at https://www.marforcyber.marines.mil/ or @MARFORCYBER

A U.S. Marine monitors network activity from the operations floor at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Aug. 31. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Capt. Hector Alejandro/Released
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