In his Commandant’s Planning Guidance, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger said the Corps must make changes to execute current and emerging operational naval concepts. He believes the modernization of the Marine Corps through naval integration plays a significant role in accomplishing this task.
In 2020, Marine Corps Systems Command underwent several structural changes to meet Berger’s vision, better align with the Navy and create a more lethal Fleet Marine Force to protect the United States at a moment’s notice.
“This naval alignment we recently executed is absolutely integral toward the success of meeting Force Design 2030 and where the Marine Corps is going,” said Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, MCSC’s commander, during AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day in October 2020.
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 realigned under two new Navy Program Executive Offices.
One of the new PEOs was Digital and Enterprise Services (Digital). The other was Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions (MLB). The new PEOs enable more agile delivery of information technology across the Navy and Marine Corps.
“Secretary Geurts sees the need to reduce redundancy, and increase agility and lethality,” said Jane Rathbun, Deputy Assistance Secretary of the Navy, Information Warfare and Enterprise Services, said during AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day. “This is one avenue by which we can start delivering in a more modern and more sustainable way.”
Changes to MCSC’s SES portfolio
On Oct. 1, 2020, MCSC’s Supporting Establishment Systems (SES) programs were reassigned to the two new Navy PEOs. PEO Digital absorbed Customer Support and Strategic Sourcing programs as well as Network and Infrastructure programs. Applications programs 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.”
Additionally, MCSC’s Wargaming Capability program office moved to the Command Element Systems portfolio. The Wargaming Capability will provide acquisition support to an innovative wargaming center to be built aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
In early 2020, the Program Manager for Global Combat Support Systems-Marine Corps (GCCS-Marine Corps) became the Program Manager for Logistics Integrated Information Solutions (LI2S). PM LI2S delivers a deployable, single point-of-entry for all logistics requirements and advances cutting-edge enabling technology in support of logistics operations. 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.
Benefits of naval alignment
The naval alignment efforts benefit the Marine Corps in several ways. Pasagian said the alignment increases the Corps’ access to naval core services, eliminates redundancies, gains economies of scale and broadens access to ready contracts.
He noted how the alignment also enables the Marine Corps to focus its acquisition resources and expertise on all warfighting functions, including modernizing the force and the associated Network Modernization Plan.
“Our resources and expertise are always limited,” said Pasagian. “So we really need to hone in and focus those resources as efficiently as possible.”
As Pasagian mentioned, change is needed to meet the needs of the future warfighter. He believes a structural alignment to achieve naval concepts will have a significant effect on the Marine Corps reaching their future goals.
“With an eye toward 2030, we are fundamentally designing our Corps in a substantial way,” said Pasagian. “We remain our nation’s number one force to be most ready when our nation is least ready. We’re committed to that.”
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