Lightening the Load: Toning the Marine Corps' Information Technology
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
As I walked into the tent in 2004, I got a puzzled look from the Air Force Tech Sergeant, who asked if he could help me. I, in return, said I was there to help him, and I offered to give him one or two phone lines. He said he had phones, and that he was running phones to the whole airfield minus my Marines. I didnt recognize any gear that could supply that many phones and it was then that the young communicator showed me the first REDCOM switch I had ever seen and gave me a briefing on it. He then asked me what I was using. This discussion was my introduction to just how far behind the other services Marine Corps information technology was, and the first time I was ever embarrassed by that knowledge. Today the Marine Corps is just starting to see REDCOM switches in normal use alongside its Cold War-era switches, and once again, it is still years behind. The Marine Corps must refocus its efforts and develop lighter, smaller, simpler, scalable, autonomous, and common information technology for all echelons of Command throughout the MAGTF to maintain its expeditionary nature. To maintain its edge as the nations force-in-readiness, the Corps needs its information technology equipment to be as expeditionary as its weapons. With the procurement of the Expeditionary Fire Support System, the OV-22 Osprey, and the SWAN, the Marine Corps is on the right track. Doing more in more austere places is what the Corps is best known for, and by all means that tradition should continue. In support of that tradition, The Corps needs to execute immediately a force-wide upgrade of its tactical information technology infrastructure.
- Computer Systems
- Radio Communications
- Non-Radio Communications