MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- Between July and October, Marine Corps Systems Command underwent several structural changes to better align the Marine Corps with the U.S. Navy and to meet the Corps’ Force Design 2030 efforts.
“We are fundamentally redesigning the Marine Corps for the next 10 years,” said Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, MCSC commander. “The world around us is changing dramatically, and that requires some changes on our end.”
In the Commandant’s Planning Guidance, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger said significant change is required to meet the demands of the naval fleet in executing current and emerging operational naval concepts. He emphasized the importance of naval integration in modernizing the Marine Corps.
Pasagian said the Marine Corps intends to meet Berger’s vision of creating a true Fleet Marine Force. To achieve this goal, MCSC has restructured several of its portfolios and programs to better align with the Navy.
Transition of Supporting Establishment Systems
In May 2020, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) James Geurts directed the disestablishment of the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems and directed its programs to be reassigned under two new Navy Program Executive Offices: PEO Digital and Enterprise Services, and PEO Manpower, Logistics and Business Systems.
The new PEOs will enable more agile delivery of information technology across the Navy and Marine Corps.
“The realignment allows us to better focus on digital transformation and IT application delivery, as technology evolves,” Geurts said in a statement. “With these two PEOs, we can better align our resources to meet mission requirements and deliver capabilities to the fleet customers more effectively.”
On October 1—per Geurts’ direction and in accordance with the Commandant’s Planning Guidance—MCSC’s Portfolio Manager Supporting Establishment Systems programs were reassigned under the two new Navy PEOs. PEO Digital and Enterprise Services absorbed the Program Manager for Customer Support and Strategic Sourcing as well as the Program Manager for Network and Infrastructure. The Program Manager for Applications moved to PEO MLB.
“Our organization is undergoing what we call a ‘lift and shift,’” said Col. Ross Monta, former PfM SES and current military deputy for PEO Digital. “We’re going to pick up our organization as it is, with some minor modifications, to align with the Navy.”
Pasagian said the Marine Corps is taking advantage of the realignment under the Navy PEOs to pursue economies of scale and better buying power with the Marine Corps and naval force.
“We have a leaner and more focused set of talent and professionals in the acquisition environment that are getting after our force design efforts,” said Pasagian during the recent Modern Day Marine Military Exposition. “I believe these changes are critical as we continue our command’s deliberate planning and resource allocation in support of the commandant’s Force Design 2030 efforts.”
MCSC and PEO LS shifting programs
Force design efforts also required MCSC and Program Executive Officer Land Systems to swap several programs. In July 2020, Program Manager Motor-Transport, which consisted of light and medium/heavy tactical vehicles, transitioned from PEO LS to MCSC.
Now two separate program offices, PM Light Tactical Vehicles fields and sustains systems such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and trailer systems, while PM Medium/Heavy Tactical Vehicles manages systems such as the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement and P-19R firetruck.
Conversely, the Program Manager for Light Armored Vehicles, moved to PEO LS, as will the future Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle program.
Finally, the Program Manager for Towed Artillery Systems moved from PEO LS to MCSC. This is a joint program with the Army that provides direct, reinforcing and general support towed artillery fires to maneuver forces field artillery brigades, Army light forces and Marine Corps units.
“We’ve adjusted and positioned the command to best support force development and design by transferring programs back and forth between our Program Executive Office and our command,” said Pasagian.
Wargaming Capability and PM LI2S
MCSC’s Wargaming Capability program office moved to the Portfolio Manager for Command Element Systems, a portfolio that provides and sustains command, control, communications and intelligence capabilities. The Wargaming Capability will provide acquisition support to an innovative wargaming centerto be built aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
In April 2020, the Program Manager for Global Combat Support Systems-Marine Corps became the Program Manager for Logistics Integrated Information Solutions. PM LI2S delivers a deployable, single point-of-entry for all logistics requirements and advances cutting-edge enabling technology in support of logistics operations.
PM LI2S comprises sustainment and modernization of the GCSS-MC system, modernizing aged logistics processes and procedures, and dedicating resources to evaluating cloud services, data analytics and other emerging technologies in support of tactical logistics.
“The associated realignment of projects and personnel enable PM LI2S to advance planning and preparation of technology offerings to continue to align with Department of the Navy and Marine Corps enterprise information technology roadmaps,” said Col. Devin Licklider, the Program Manager for Logistics integrated Information Solutions.
Similar to the Program Manager for Applications, PM LI2S personnel are administratively assigned to MCSC, but the portfolio falls under the Navy’s PEO MLB.
Part of supporting force design efforts involve realigning the Marine Corps Cyber Operations program portfolio as a direct reporting program management office. In a Sept. 28 memo, Pasagian said the acquisition and sustainment responsibilities of this program office will report directly to him.
How changes affect industry
Monta said he does not expect MCSC’s structural changes to affect the command’s communication with industry. Current requirements and existing contracts will remain the same.
“As we integrate Navy and Marine Corps requirements, there may be bigger efforts—bigger opportunities for industry to work at a broader naval perspective,” said Monta.
MCSC senior leaders expressed excitement for the structural changes, as the alignment of programs to a naval construct also helps the Marine Corps fulfill Gen. Berger’s vision. However, the Corps’ primary mission remains the same: equipping Marines.
“Our primary customer is still the United States Marine Corps,” said Monta. “It is still the Marines who are out there executing day-to-day. We’re still delivering cutting-edge capabilities to our Marines, to our service, so that we can complete our mission.”