Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am pleased to have this opportunity to discuss how the Corps is meeting the challenge of protecting our Marines in the extremely unpredictable littoral regions of the world. I’ll begin with an overview of Marine Corps concepts and how they shape our philosophy of warfighting within the the littorals. I’ll then explain how these concepts fuel our Combat Development System to generate initiatives designed to protect our Marine warriors. Categorized according to doctrine, organization, training, equipment, and support, these initiatives include both materiel and nonmateriel efforts for deployed and garrison Marines. Yet all share the same conceptual foundation and support the same goal of providing our Marines with the necessary tools to effectively protect themselves while permitting mission accomplishment.


Force Protection: Central to our Warfighting Concepts

Our Marines are our most valuable asset. Protecting them while accomplishing our mission, whether winning battles, maintaining the peace, or providing humanitarian assistance, is an inherent responsibility of command. To meet that responsibility, Marines approach force protection from several directions. First, force protection stems from the philosophy that every Marine is a rifleman. As a part of our Battle Skills Training program, an annual process linked to promotion qualification, all Marines are trained in those warfighting skills needed to protect themselves in combat. Second, our operating forces are organized into Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTF) that provide enhanced protection through the synergistic effects of ground, aviation, and support elements. Third, force protection is woven throughout the family of Marine Corps Warfighting Concepts for the 21st Century. Issues of stealth, standoff, early warning, hardening/immunization, and damage mitigation are integral to current and future concepts which drive the future warfighting capabilities of our Corps.

The maneuver warfare philosophy underlying our operational concepts provides key offensive and defensive force protection capabilities. Our capstone warfighting concept, Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS), capitalizes on naval forces’ ability to use the sea as maneuver space. The intent in employing this concept is to deliver a decisive blow against an enemy’s center of gravity through Ship-to-Objective Maneuver (STOM). STOM tactically implements OMFTS by applying maneuver warfare tenets to amphibious operations. It achieves disproportionate effects on enemy forces by focusing on the objective, striking the enemy where he is weakest, emphasizing intelligence, deception and flexibility, and generating overwhelming tempo and momentum -– a good offense is still the best defense.

As envisioned in our concepts Beyond C2, Maritime Prepositioning Force 2010, Sea Based Logistics, Advanced Expeditionary Fires, and Marine Aviation, seabasing of command and control, logistics, and the preponderance of fire support functions offers an unparalleled level of force protection. Widely dispersed mobile seabased forces are far less vulnerable than those based on land. Naval forces enjoy increased security while maneuvering at sea, complicating the enemy’s targeting process, while the sea serves as a barrier to terrorists or other forces whose mission would be to strike at established facilities in the landing force’s rear area. Beyond the physical protection afforded to what, in the past, would have been vulnerable areas ashore, the seabasing of those facilities eliminates the need to put Marines at risk to defend them or their lines of communications. Whether major theater war or other expeditionary operations, the ability to reduce the force’s footprint ashore through seabasing reduces exposure to many threats.


Force Protection Initiatives: Developed through the Combat Development System

To develop force protection capabilities, the Marine Corps uses a concept based requirements process. From the language provided by the 82nd Congress in 1952, the Corps has focused on providing a "force of combined arms, ready when the Nation is least ready…." These capabilities are derived from emerging concepts that are reflective of the strategic guidance, global geo/economic/political changes, and new threats. The distillation of these impacts is analyzed and developed within the major processes and functions that comprise the Marine Corps Combat Development System (CDS).

The CDS supports the Commandant in providing the manning, training and equipping of Marine Forces for deployment and employment by the Warfighting CinCs. Within the CDS, the Concept Based Requirements Process (CBRP) develops concepts and identifies operational requirements. From these concepts, the required mix of personnel and equipment are assessed across the pillars of doctrine, organization, training, equipment, and support (DOTES) to determine the appropriate resource allocation levels to field integrated warfighting capabilities.


Doctrinal Measures supporting Force Protection

Our current doctrine hierarchy contains 255 doctrinal publications, a third of which have been updated, revised, and published over the last three years. The remainder of the doctrinal publications should be completed within the next two years. Throughout this update process, discussion of force protection has been a significant aspect of doctrine development. Marines identify force protection as one of six warfighting functions (command and control, maneuver, fires, intelligence, logistics, force protection) fundamental to military operations at every level. Our doctrine does not singularly address force protection rather it is broadly woven throughout our service publications.

The overarching goal with regard to force protection is to conserve our forces’ fighting potential so it can be applied at the decisive time and place. Key considerations include a full spectrum of activities from keeping air, land and sea lines of communication free from interference, to precautions against potential terrorist activities. Force protection encompasses all actions taken to reduce or eliminate the ability of an enemy, or the environment, to adversely affect a friendly force. Detailed and integrated force protection planning is essential and improves our ability to maneuver against the enemy to achieve our objectives.

As new concepts and systems come to fruition, tactics, techniques, procedures and technologies will evolve. Marine Corps doctrine will remain timely, relevant and compelling. While our supporting doctrine will evolve along with technological advances, it will remain tethered to its underpinnings -- our fundamental beliefs on the chaotic nature of war.


Organizational Measures supporting Force Protection

Organizational measures are part of the Marine Corps approach to enhancing force protection through DOTES initiatives. Specifically, on a re-occurring basis, the Marine Corps conducts an internal review of our force structure to ensure the most effective force possible against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world environment accented by asymmetrical warfare threatening the littorals.

Task Organizing for the MAGTF. We have adopted techniques of task organizing to meet requirements for planning and supervising force protection initiatives within a MAGTF. Depending upon the mission and the size of the MAGTF, we provide specialized personnel ranging from a single officer to a team of trained personnel. These personnel are integrated into the MAGTF staffs and ensure force protection measures are part of any plan.

At the MEF level, the counterintelligence/human intelligence officer (CI/HO), with this staff, is the commander’s advisor on the employment of his organic CI/HUMINT element in support of the MEF’S force protection effort. The MEF’s CI/HUMINT company conducts CI and HUMINT operations in support of this mission. Additionally, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agent is normally assigned to the CI/HO. At MEU level, an assigned HUMINT Exploitation Team has primary responsibility for conduction CI and HUMINT operations in support of force protection. The MEU also has a Force Protection Officer (FPO). Prior to deployment, the FPO designs realistic training to meet DOD requirements. When deployed, the FPO conducts inspections and makes recommendations to the MAGTF commander on how to improve force protection readiness.

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF). The Commandant of the Marine Corps directed the creation of the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) in July 1995. CBIRF is the only U.S. force currently capable of performing Counter Terrorism Consequence Management on a large scale in a Chemical and/or Biological (CB) contaminated environment. CBIRF provides a MAGTF or on-scene commander with a fully integrated post-incident CB response management capability. CBIRF possesses enhanced NBC detection and protection capabilities beyond those of standard military units and is capable of detecting and identifying toxic industrial materials in addition to warfare agents.

CBIRF provides a quickly deployable, self-sustaining, CB incident response force. To date, the CBIRF has been deployed to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, the 1997 Presidential Inauguration, the 1997 Economic Summit of Eight, the 1999 Presidential State of the Union Address to Congress, and most recently in support of the Pope’s visit to Missouri. In July 1997, the CMC broadened CBIRF's mission to include countermeasure/force protection support to the Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU) and assistance to civilian responders. We have included this training during our MEU work-ups, and the 24th and 26th MEUs have recently deployed with this improved capability.

The CBIRF program, R&D and Procurement, totals over $44M from FY98 to FY05 as currently budgeted. We are deeply grateful for the Congressional support that CBIRF has enjoyed in the past that includes your most recent addition in FY99 of $3.5M for CBIRF research and development. These funds will directly enhance key CBIRF programs such as the procurement of a flyaway communication suite and development of Non-Specific Immunity (NSI), Electro-Static Decontamination (ESD), and Chemical Biological Individual Sampler (CBIS) programs.


Training Measures supporting Force Protection

Force protection includes procedural, training, equipment and leadership principles necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of our Marines. In order to combat present and future threats we must inculcate a mindset of proactive planning as opposed to post-incident reaction. Key to developing this mindset is increasing the individual awareness of all personnel. To this end we must focus on those areas that we can best influence; such as the training and education of our Marines, proper operational planning, and the provision of the necessary resources to provide the best possible level of protection for our personnel. The following two efforts are representative of the varied domains which impact our force protection training initiatives.

MAGTF Staff Training Program (MSTP). While force protection training exists throughout the Corps, one of the most unique examples is the MAGTF Staff Training Program (MSTP). Operating from a home base in Quantico, Virginia, the MSTP provides training in Combined, Joint, and MAGTF warfighting skills to Marine Corps forces with a particular emphasis on senior commanders and their staffs. The program focuses on the pivotal role of the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) commander and the responsibilities of the MEF staff at the operational and tactical levels of war. Particular emphasis is placed on the actions required at the MEF level to employ information to integrate and synchronize the warfighting functions of maneuver, fires, command and control, logistics, intelligence, and force protection. The MSTP uses the Battle Staff Training Facility (BSTF) located at Quantico to develop processes that enable operating forces to use information technologies in an integrated manner to support MAGTF planning and operations. In addition to the battle staffs of the Fleet Marine Forces, the BSTF also provides command and control systems training to students of the Marine Corps University.

MSTP force protection training is conducted in four stages: (1) Phase I Force Protection classes for general audiences, (2) Phase II Operational Planning Team (OPT) exercises force protection planning is taught and evaluated, (3) Phase III wargames where MSTP observers, collectors, and trainers address force protection planning issues, (4) and a post-wargame after action review and detailed final exercise report.

Shipboard Training. Marines typically embark aboard ship highly trained at both the individual and unit levels. Unfortunately, a large number of these skills are perishable and if not exercised periodically, deteriorate rapidly. This fact, combined with the uncertainty of time, type and location of future commitments, creates a need for sustainment training to ensure the utmost in training readiness while deployed. Several computer based training systems are currently in use or under development that will enhance training readiness and improve force protection while deployed.

Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer (ISMT) - has evolved to accommodate all types of weapons normally found at the individual and small unit level, including mortars. This four-station trainer has the capability to be linked with two additional ISMT to accommodate training of a reinforced squad. 528 ISMT are presently fielded.

Combat Vehicle Appended Trainer (CVAT) - provides for training by the respective tank, assault amphibious vehicle (AAV), and Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) crews in their actual vehicles while deployed. 142 CVAT will be fielded from FY02 to FY06.

Closed Loop Artillery Simulation System (CLASS) - links the fire direction center, forward observer and the gun crew and allow the full spectrum of artillery training with simulation. 31 CLASS will be fielded from FY03 to FY05.

Combat Decision Range (CDR) - a low cost, multimedia decisionmaking tool for junior combat leaders that uses COTS computers and projectors. Deployed on board ship, CDR provides simulated situational decisions to infantry squad leaders in preparation for actual operations. Scenarios are approximately 30 minutes in length during which time the Marine is put through thirty to forty decisions making events. In addition to tactics, techniques, and procedures, the Marine can exercise decision making skills related to rules of engagement. During 1999, every Marine Corps regiment will be fielded and trained on the CDR.


Equipment Measures supporting Force Protection

C4I. The surest way to protect our Marines is to provide them with the combat leadership and tools they need to win quickly and decisively. To that end, we are enhancing our command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence (C4I) systems in several ways. In particular, we are giving high priority to systems that contribute to situational awareness at all levels of command. By improving each commander's understanding of friendly and enemy unit locations and the tactical situation in general, these systems reduce the likelihood of fratricide and contribute to both faster and more appropriate tactical decisions.

Force protection through situational awareness is supported in our command and control (C2) center modernization efforts. These "fusion programs" include shelters, vehicles, power generators, lighting, environmental systems, displays, and communications and information systems. The C2 centers process and display information invaluable to force protection using Global Command and Control System (GCCS), Tactical Combat Operations system (TCO), Intelligence Analysis System (IAS), and Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS).

USMC Command Centers (CC) – enables commanders to monitor world events, assess a crisis as it develops, and begin development of courses of action. These non-deploying CC provide worldwide communications capabilities at base, posts, and stations for access to national intelligence assets, direct preparations for deployment, and coordinate support for deployed forces. The fielding of 20 CC is scheduled for FY02 through FY05.

USMC Combat Operations Centers (COC) - provide deploying commanders with tactical facilities employing large screen displays, video teleconferencing, decision support tools, and wireless local area networking. COC enhance information presentation and situational awareness. The fielding of 197 COC is scheduled for FY02 through FY05.

Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S) - provides tools for aviation command control planning and execution. CAC2S will replace existing tactical air command centers, tactical air operations centers, and the operations centers of air traffic control, theater missile defense, direct air support, and low altitude air defense units.

The modernization of the C2 centers is accompanied by an upgrade of the communications systems used for intra-MAGTF and "reachback" dissemination of force protection information. These systems include both radio and networking systems.

Super High Frequency Tri-Band Advanced Range Extension Terminal (STAR-T) - a satellite terminal capable of using military and commercial SHF satellites for high-capacity intra-theater communications and reachback to CONUS via Standardized Tactical Entry Points. 38 STAR-T will be fielded from FY01 to FY03.

Secure Mobile Anti-jam Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART-T) - an EHF satellite terminal providing robust, low probability of intercept, and jam-resistant communications, not subject to terrain masking or distance limitations, using MILSTAR. 25 SMART-T will be fielded from FY01 through FY02.

Global Broadcast System (GBS) - man-portable, very small aperture satellite receivers capable of receiving high data rate broadcasts from GBS satellites. The fielding of 105 GBS is scheduled for FY01 through FY02.

Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT) - a multi-service UHF satellite terminal and intelligence broadcast receiver for delivering critical time sensitive battlefield targeting information to commanders at all levels. The fielding of 47 JTT is scheduled for FY98 through FY05.

Digital Wideband Transmission System (DWTS) - a vehicular UHF line of site digital radio used for intra-MAGTF and shore to ship communications. DWTS is fielded and undergoing a product improvement, known as the Shore Mount Accessory Kit (SMAK), to enhance shore to ship capabilities. DWTS SMAK is scheduled for FY99 through FY00.

Tactical Data Network (TDN) Gateways and TDN Servers - support tactical local area networks for the COC. 447 TDN gateways will be fielded from FY00 through FY02.

Digital Technical Control (DTC) - provides network management for the TDN at command echelons division and above. 30 DTC will be fielded from FY00 through FY02.

For the vehicular and dismounted Marines in ground maneuver elements, several new initiatives are underway which provide situational awareness and enhance force protection. These include processing terminals, radios, and airborne relay platforms.

Data Automated Communications Terminals (DACT) - provides a handheld end user terminal for vehicular or dismounted Marines to display a map of the battlefield overlaid by near real-time friendly and suspected enemy location information. DACT has Global Positioning System (GPS), digital maps, and moving map display. 4,066 DACT will be fielded from FY99 through FY03.

Enhanced Position Location and Reporting System (EPLRS) - a secure UHF networked digital data radio providing on-the-move medium rate communications to DACT-equipped combat units down to the company level. The fielding of 1,187 EPLRS is scheduled for FY99 through FY01.

Single Channel Ground Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) - a lightweight combat net radio providing single channel secure jam resistant voice and low rate data communications for DACT throughout the battlefield. The fielding of 23,987 SINCGARS began in FY94 and runs through FY99.

Intra-Squad Radio (ISR) - a small commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hands-free radio used by small unit leaders to direct Marines and improve situational awareness. 800 ISR will be incorporated in the Marine Corps Warfighting Labs Advanced Warfighting Experiment Urban Warrior in March 1999 and subsequent Fleet Marine Force evaluation.

Vertical takeoff and landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) - provide near real-time battlefield imagery and serve as an airborne communications relay to tie together warfighters in a geographically dispersed battle space. VTUAV enables force protection information to be relayed to the COC or DACT-equipped Marine without use of vulnerable terrestrial relay sites.

Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) - provides increased flexibility and performance over all existing radio programs. As a "buyer and not a developer" the Marine Corps enthusiastically anticipates the completion of the JTRS program and its goal of providing warfighters with a family of common interoperable radios for use by all of DoD.

The Marine Corps is also enhancing force protection through procurement of C4I ground systems that integrate with joint airborne sensor platforms and work in conjunction with organic ground-based sensors.

Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Common Ground Station (JSTARS CGS) - provides the commander, afloat and ashore, with near-real-time access to moving target indicator, fixed target indicator, and synthetic aperture radar data from the Joint STARS aircraft. The fielding of 2 JSTARS CGS is scheduled for FY00.

Tactical Remote Sensor System (TRSS) - a family of monitoring equipment and remote sensors that may be emplaced by air or ground forces to provide commanders with unattended, semi-covert ground surveillance of distant areas of the battlefield using passive detection and remote reporting systems. TRSS is already fielded and is undergoing a product improvement program that will field repeaters, air-delivered sensors and specialized test sets from FY00 through FY01.

Combat Identification. Currently, during the evaluation by the All Services Combat Identification Evaluation Team, the Marine Corps will evaluate several combat identification technologies that show potential to reduce fratricide. The Single Channel Ground Airborne Radio System Improvement Program Plus (SINCGARS SIP+) and the Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL) system will be evaluated to determine if situational awareness and target identification functions can be improved during the critical interfaces between the forward air controller and close air support aircraft. To eliminate fratricide among dismounted Marines on the ground, an eye safe laser Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) known as the Combat Simlas Plus System, will also be evaluated.

Experimentation and Demonstration. As we continue to improve our C4I we employ experiments and demonstrations to validate our concepts and help guide equipment development. For example, the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) is continuously exploring new tactics and techniques in order to stay ahead of our potential adversaries and take advantage of the opportunities presented by emerging technology. The Extending the Littoral Battlespace (ELB) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) is demonstrating how state-of-the-art commercial technology can be used to improve situational awareness and improve the combat effectiveness of a dispersed force in littoral operations. As these experiments and demonstrations progress, we will incorporate lessons learned in appropriate program development. For example, the Enhanced Combat Operations Center (ECOC) prototypes developed by both the MCWL and ELB ACTD will be used to validate current COC operational requirements and to guide implementation decisions by appropriate program offices. We have established significant ECOC and ELB ACTD "red teaming" efforts that are designed to identify weak spots and asymmetrical challenges in order to minimize the vulnerability of troops on the ground.

Joint Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Program. The Marine Corps is an active participant in the coordination and integration of research, development, testing, evaluation, and acquisition of DOD chemical and biological warfare defense programs. Within these Joint programs, the Marine Corps is the commodity area manager for Individual Protection. Additionally, the Marine Corps has been designated the lead service for six Joint NBC programs:

Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) - provides the wearer with protection from CB vapors, aerosols, liquids, and radioactive particles on the battlefield while the garments reduce the level of physiological stress encountered with the currently approved garments. It consists of a protective suit with/without permeable hood, Overboot (MULO), and protective gloves. Fielding began in 1998.

Joint Service Light NBC Reconnaissance System (JSLNBCRS) - provides a NBC reconnaissance platform capable of detecting, identifying, and marking NBC hazards and toxic industrial materials on the integrated battlefield as well as providing information reports and warning to follow-on forces and Commanders. Fielding is programmed for FY02.

NBC Joint Warning and Reporting Network (JWARN) - provides a comprehensive analysis and response capability to minimize the effects of hostile NBC attacks or accident/incidents. Phase 1 JWARN software began fielding in FY98. Phase 2, scheduled for FY01, will integrate Chem/Bio detectors and C4I systems.

Joint Service Fixed Site Decontamination System (JSFXD) – provides a means to remove, neutralize and eliminate NBC and toxic industry material hazards posing threats to military operations. JSFXD will incorporate both a family of decontaminants and a family of decontamination application systems to enhance force protection through personnel, equipment, facility, and area decontamination. JSFXD will be fielded in FY03 through FY06.

Joint Service Mask Leakage Tester (JSMLT) - a one-man portable, unit level, device capable of testing and validating the serviceability of components and fit of NBC protective masks. JSMLT will be fielded from FY04 to FY06.

Joint Service Container Refilling System (JSCRS) - provides the capability to refill containers such as canteens and five-gallon water cans with water in a NBC contaminated environment. JSCRS will be fielded from FY02 to FY04.

Enhanced NBC (E-NBC) Capability Sets. The E-NBC Capability Set provides an increased initial rapid response capability to counter the growing NBC threat in the littorals. The E-NBC Capability Set enhances near real-time agent detection, identification, processing, and decontamination support, thereby increasing force protection capabilities. There will be 13 E-NBC Capability Sets distributed to Marine Expeditionary Forces. Two sets will be provided to each MEF Commander for training and contingency purposes and one set for each MEU(SOC) for training and deployment purposes. Fielding of these kits is scheduled to begin in FY 99 and completed in FY00.

Shortstop Electronic Protection System (SEPS). SEPS is an excellent example of a force protection technology needed today by our operating forces worldwide. SEPS has proven, in operational live fire testing, to be fully capable of defeating indirect fired munitions, armed with proximity fuzes, that threaten the lives of our Marines. Incoming rounds are defeated by causing them to prematurely detonate while still outside the radius of danger to personnel and equipment. The uncertain environments we face in accomplishing our force projection responsibilities prescribe a need for such a system as SEPS. As a passive device, it requires virtually no operator training or attention, yet its force protection benefits are significant. Casualties for a battalion-size force on the move can be reduced up to eighty percent through employment of this remarkable technology, available today, yet not fielded. SEPS is a mature Army program that is the subject of experimentation by the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.

Mine Countermeasures. We consider this area of force protection essential to our ability to conduct operations within the littorals. Representing our efforts are the following programs:

Very Shallow Water Mine Counter-Measures (VSW MCM). The Marine Corps is working "hand-in-glove" with the Navy towards operationally relevant solutions to protecting the force as it transitions form ship to objective in Operational Maneuver From The Sea. One of our most promising endeavors has been the Very Shallow Water Mine Counter-Measures (VSW MCM) unit in Coronado, California. The Detachment is organized into a small staff with a diver platoon and a marine mammal systems platoon. The Detachment will remain part of the Navy’s dedicated Mine Countermeasures Force until technology enables mission accomplishment free of diver-in-the-loop systems and can be configured organic to our deploying forces. An Initial Operational Capability to deploy diver and marine mammal platoons is not expected to occur until FY00 and FY01 respectively. We are working closely with the Navy to solve many of the future issues of countermine and counter-obstacle (CMCO) operations to assure we can not only transit the 3000 nautical miles to the objective area but also assault through the last 3000 meters.

Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS). The APOBS is intended to neutralize all single impulse AP mines (surface laid and buried) and clear a path through standard wire obstacles, within a path 0.6 meters wide up to 45 meters from the leading edge of the obstacle. It is a lightweight, portable system that combines the shrapnel cutting capabilities of grenades interconnected on 45 meter long line charge. The Marine Corps plans on procuring 3399 APOBS from FY00 to FY05.

Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA). COBRA is an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) based standoff mine detection system designed to locate minefields in the littorals in support of amphibious and expeditionary operations and can also be employed in support of inland operations. COBRA is intended to detect surface and buried mines as well as detecting obstacles and fortifications in the surf zone (10 feet of water to the High Water Mark). The Marine Corps intends to procure 24 COBRA from FY04 to FY10.

Combat Breacher Vehicle (CBV). The CBV provides an obstacle breaching capability integrated on a M1 tank chassis with a mine clearing blade, automatic depth control, automatic weapons stations, commanders control station, and a power driven arm. The system will have comparable mobility and agility to an M1A1 Abrams Tank with crew under-armor protection, full-width mine clearing and obstacle reducing. The Marine Corps intends to procure 52 CBV from FY05 to FY13.

Individual Protective Equipment. Completing our discussion of equipment programs supporting force protection are those directly worn by an individual Marine. These programs include:

Body Armor. The Marine Corps new body armor enhances force protection by providing each Marine with an increased level of protection. The Marine Corps Body Armor program is ranked highest of the twenty-four Marine Enhancement Programs (MEP). The acquisition objective is 173,000 active and 43,000 reserves. Fielding will begin this calendar year and is programmed out to FY 05. The present Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) vest was designed to defeat the fragmentation and flechette threat. The new body armor, known as the "Interceptor", will duplicate this protection. However, new technologies facilitated increasing protection to include the majority of the 9 mm used by friendly and threat forces. This means a Marine is protected against most hand gun threats. The new vest also has a pocket in the front and back that accepts ballistic plates. This plate has been engineered to defeat the 7.62 mm ball threat and weighs 8.35 pounds. This improved ballistic protection, lighter weight and better "fightability" enhance survivability, mobility and lethality which translate to better force protection.

Camouflage. We are currently conducting tests on camouflage uniforms that provide improved signature reduction when compared to present utility uniforms. These new camouflage uniforms, when viewed against an urban background or through night vision devices, are significantly more difficult to see. Programs are underway to address mid/far thermal signature reduction.

Protective Eyewear. The category of directed energy weapons includes lasers as a subclass, and it is an area of continued concern to our ground and air personnel. We are pursuing with the US Army a Sun, Wind, and Dust (SWD) Goggle that also provides ballistic and laser protection under the Military Eyewear Protection System (MEPS). The technology uses a combination of Eye-Centered Holograms and Dielectric Stacks designed to protect against wavelengths in the visible and infrared (IR) spectrum. Multiple aviation eye protection systems have been developed and distributed throughout Marine aviation units. The current laser protection eyewear come in either spectacle (eyeglasses) or visor and range from one to five wavelength protection. Follow-on multi wavelength systems strive to protect from both friendly systems as well as expected threat systems. Current spectacle type laser eye protection available for USMC aviation are the EDU-1/P and FV-2. The spectacle under development is the EDU-5P. Current visor type eye protection available are the EEK-3/P, EEK-4A/, SPH-3C, and HGU-67/68/84/85 Visor. The visor under development is the Joint Advanced Laser Eye Protection Visor (JALEPV). We are pursuing emerging technologies in cooperation with the Office of Naval Research to counter all laser threats using laser protective spectacles (aviation) and goggles (ground). Both systems use similar technology and can prevent multiple laser wavelengths from temporarily or permanently blinding our Marines. While not designed to protect against potential future lasers, the systems do have the capability to protect our Marines against the most commonly used military lasers throughout the world. Additionally, we intend to include laser protective goggles as part of capability sets for our deploying Marines until full procurement can be completed.


Support Measures supporting Force Protection

The "S" pillar of DOTES covers the Marine Corps Supporting Establishment’s non-deploying infrastructure on bases, posts, and stations. While this may not appear to be germane to littoral operations, we believe the protection of non-deploying forces is directly related. With the emergence of advanced information technologies that provide deployed forces "reachback" to bases, the functions provided by the non-deployed forces are inextricably linked to the activities of deployed Marines. We view protection of our littoral forces as beginning with the protection of our bases.

Protecting the Base. Protecting our forces from terrorism, especially terrorists using weapons of mass destruction (WMD), poses a difficult, asymmetrical threat to DoD personnel and assets. The DoD has published a number of AT/FP standards with which commanders must comply. Throughout the Marine Corps, installations have revitalized their AT/AP programs in order to ensure strict compliance with DoD and service guidance. Initiatives include installation-level crisis management exercises, Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessments (JSIVA), Marine Corps Integrated Vulnerability Assessments, Level I through IV AT/FP training, detailed planning to establish integrated AT/FP plans, and the development of MOUs with federal, state, and local AT/FP and emergency management agencies. Moreover, at the service headquarters level, initiatives and programs include maintenance of Marine Corps Electronic Security Systems (MCESS), the procurement of an Integrated Tactical Automated Sensor System (ITASS), integral involvement with the Joint Staff-sponsored Force Protection Equipment Demonstration (FPED), the distribution of funds in support of AT/FP Mobile Training Teams (MTT), and very close oversight of the Marine Corps AT/FP program. The goal of the Marine Corps AT/FP program is to establish a model which facilitates a security/preparedness posture capable of handling both man made and natural disasters. Further, the program seeks to enable installations to smoothly transition from normal operations to an increased readiness posture. A prime example of multifaceted and integrated AT/FP program is MCB Quantico. MCB, Quantico’s approach synchronizes Command efforts, focuses on procedural solutions, incorporates existing AT/FP technology, and maximizes scarce personnel, equipment, and fiscal resources. The end-state of the Marine Corps AT/FP program is to permeate all personnel, active, reserve, family members, and civilians, with an absolute awareness and proficient application of AT/FP policy and procedures.

Protecting the Information Utility. While most are familiar with electricity, water, and telephones, the Marine Corps considers its growing network of computers as not only an information infrastructure but as an information utility. We believe managing and programming our computer networks as utilities will lead the way to achieving the same quality and dependable service that is synonymous with plugging in an appliance or turning a water spigot. We are striving for an information utility which, when you "plug in" your computer at your base, post, or station, you are on line.

Our information utility currently services 75,000 Marines, supporting their functional computer applications and network connectivity requirements across 24 time zones. Divided into eight regions, our information utility provides information technology support services and facilities across 32 major bases, posts, and stations. In addition to these areas of concentration, we also support our recruiting efforts and our reserve component of the Marine Corps Total Force. These smaller enclaves, while too numerous to specify, are all equally protected by state of the art information security solutions as they use the information utility to provide total force synergy throughout the Marine Corps.

As with a water utility, we are concerned about protecting our information utility against contamination and have focused our most recent efforts towards that goal. Over the last year, the major component of the utility, the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN), has been upgraded so that it is now completely protected by state-of-the-art firewall technology at all entry points. Though we believe this to be a significant beginning, more work remains to improve our supporting establishment information utility service.

Today the Marine Corps Enterprise Network architecture is not as robust, nor as survivable as required. Over the next 18 months, the Marine Corps Enterprise Network, the core of our information utility model, will grow from a fractured, 32 node, stove-pipe environment to a seamless virtual intranet that will provide a high speed end-to-end capability. We begin execution in June 1999. When completed, we will have the capability to conduct video teleconferencing between Headquarters, Marine Corps and III Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa, Japan without having to go through a firewall. This rebirth of a large and responsive backbone capability is due in large part to our teaming with the Defense Information Systems Agency. Funding for the connectivity required for this fully meshed network as well the technology to protect this network is in place.

We intend to improve overall protection of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network through improved redundancy. The MCEN is presently controlled by one Network Operations Center located in Quantico, Virginia. An Alternate Network Operations Center is planned for establishment at Richards-Gebaur ANG Base south of Kansas City, Missouri during FY00. The Alternate Network Operations Center is not funded at this time but has been identified as a candidate for fiscal support beginning FY00. The Network Operations Center also serves an overarching role for network protection as the Marine Forces Component Command to the Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense.

In addition to the protection provided by firewalls and management redundancy, the MCEN is undergoing a major rebuild that when completed over the next two to three years, will reduce vulnerabilities through an improved technology base. The significant infrastructure growth required to take the utility to the desktop, and not just to the base entry point. There are four distinct aspects to this effort: outside plant (fiber between buildings), inside plant (fiber/wire inside habitable buildings), client-server architecture that supports all users regardless of functional requirements or geographic location, and the annual technology refresh of the information utility infrastructure.



Force protection is an enduring theme in our concepts, an integral component of our doctrine, and a daily part of our training and education. It is a required warfighting capability that has and will continue to demand the best our Combat Development System can produce. It is also an effort that is completely in concert with our philosophy of equipping Marines and not manning equipment. Force protection enables our ultimate precision weapon, the Marine, to adapt and overcome.

Our intelligence analysis process continuously assesses the risks associated with emerging threats while our Combat Development System resolves the most notable force protection issues through experimentation, testing, and evaluation. Continued Congressional support greatly assists us in meeting resource challenges associated with these dynamic threats. When opportunities occur where we are able to request from Congress funding to support essential warfighting capabilities, we are vigilant to ensure force protection programs receive strong support. We are confident that continued support from the Congress, who has been our "Force Protector" over the past 223 years, will enable us to adequately meet any unconventional threats in the future.

Force protection capabilities are not only essential for today’s force but must be ready for our Corps of the future. As such, our efforts range from today’s fielding of proven capability sets to forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Units to the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab’s experimentation with emerging technologies. Engaged across the pillars of DOTES and with both the near and far term perspectives in view, force protection is always on the horizon for Marine forces fighting "Forward…from the Sea."