Armor & Mobility

SEP-OCT 2016

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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A&M: Please speak to some primary areas that USMC logisticians are facing in today's complex maritime/land combined environment. Lt. Gen. Dana: We believe we are in the midst of an evolution of logistical affairs in the Marine Corps. On the one hand, our current inventory of aircraft, vehicles, and weapon systems are more lethal, maneuverable, and survivable than any time in our history. On the other hand, these systems are heavier and more logistics intensive. This means that in the next 15-20 years, our Corps will experience a blend of old and new logistics, an era we are calling hybrid logistics. We will still have to move large quantities of fuel, water, and ammunition throughout the battlespace, but unmanned platforms, 3D printing, and predictive maintenance have the potential to optimize tactical distribution, enhance the supply chain, and increase equipment readiness. Marine Corps logisticians will have to support Marine Air Ground Task Forces operating across the Range of Military Operations in all five dimensions of warfare. To do this, we are proposing an evolutionary shift in how Marines provide support. In conflicts to date, we have built a mountain of logistics at the operational level, while radiating tactical logistics support from that main (and vulnerable) hub. In the future, we will create a hybrid model that mixes traditional stockpiling with caches, on-call modular logistics packages, and technology enhanced lift and distribution. Further, hybrid logistics must be capable of operating in an Anti-Access/Area Denial environment. Finally, we will need to support forces that are operating in a distributed manner, while also having the ability to aggregate and reposition those forces rapidly. A&M: From a lighten-the-load perspective, please speak to ways your office is working to minimize Marines/Joint Warfighter burdens and challenges associated with them. Lt. Gen. Dana: This is an operational imperative---our expeditionary Marine Corps requires a logistics capability that is leaner, lighter, and less energy intensive. We are working with our service counterparts and Marine Corps stakeholders to lighten the load for the individual Marine. A Marine in WWII landed with 30-35 pounds of gear, while today's Marines carry upwards of 100 pounds. We have asked industry to find ways to reduce the weight of protective body armor, ammunition, and communications gear. Many experts have indicated that the "optimal load" for a person is ¼ their body weight—so for a 200 pound Marine, that Marine is still carrying double the recommended weight. We are also looking for ways to make "each Marine a producer" through the use of solar panels to charge batteries and individual water purification kits. There are several companies that have made exciting advances in the development and production of lightweight, but durable plastic (polymer) ammunition. This ammunition is 35 percent Armor & Mobility had the recent privilege of speaking with Lt. Gen. Michael Dana, Deputy Commandant for Installations & Logistics, U.S. Marine Corps, regarding continuing efforts to sustain older and integrate newer capabilities within a changing Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) force structure in support of leaner, lighter, and less energy-consumptive operations. HYBRID LOGISTICS: A BLEND OF OLD AND NEW 1. Depictions of future integrated U.S. Marine Corps Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) combat operations from an Expeditionary Force-21 Concept perspective (USMC) 2. Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow Daniel Contreras of Production Plant Barstow gives Lt. Gen. Michael Dana, Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, a brief on vari- ous combat vehicles repaired at PPB aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, CA. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Carlos Guerra, Barstow Combat Camera/Released) 1 2 LOGISTICS: USMC EXPEDITIONARY OPS www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 38 | Armor & Mobility September/October 2016

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