Throughout its history, the Marine Corps has retained the operational flexibility to conduct a wide variety of missions to meet national objectives.
In the modern era, yesterday's Marine Corps will not win tomorrow's battles. For the Marine Corps to remain the world's premier fighting force, it needs to evolve with the threat.
As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps with nearly 10 years of active duty under my belt, I have a unique understanding of the needs of the service. Throughout my tenure, I served two active-duty tours and had the opportunity to serve under General Mattis, my first battalion commander when I was a young private.
Now, in my role leading Lockheed Martin's Combat Systems division, I serve the Marine Corps in a new way, helping our team bring advanced capabilities to the force that will prepare them for the fight of tomorrow.
To Meet the Demands of The Future, the Marine Corps is Transforming
In 2018, the National Defense Strategy (NDS) redirected the institution’s focus to great power competition, with special emphasis on the Indo-Pacific theatre. Today, the principal goal of the Marine Corps is to operate as a key part of the Joint Force and as the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness with modernized capabilities.
General David Berger, Commandant of the U.S Marine Corps, shared in the most recent Force Design Report update, that the “Marine Corps remains an expeditionary crisis response force…a force composed of highly capable tactical units that can perform combined arms operations at all echelons, enabled by organic air and logistics, is a force that can execute the complex missions defined by our emerging concepts in any potential theater.”
As the needs of the Marine Corps continually evolve, Lockheed Martin is providing our Marines with the flexible, reliable and integrated capabilities they need to be effective against near-peer adversaries.
Here are a few examples of how we're driving transformative capabilities for the Marine Corps of today, and tomorrow.
To neutralize near-peer threats, Lockheed Martin is developing effective systems that give our Marines the capabilities they need to make an impact.
Systems like the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) and Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER-GMLRS) allow Marines to engage targets from 70-km and 135-km away respectively.
ER-GMLRS has a modular design that allows for continuous upgrades as well as an open systems architecture designed for maximum flexibility and enhanced lethality for All-Domain Operations. These systems ensure that with on-going evolutionary development, Marines will have the tools they need to defeat the threats of today, and tomorrow.
To maneuver in every domain, the Marine Corps needs capabilities that are flexible and mobile. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a mobile, combat-proven system that employs a shoot-and-scoot capability which enhances crew and platform survivability.
HIMARS can integrate into the joint architecture which provides the options commanders need on the battlefield now and in the future. Additionally, HIMARS is a JADO-enabling capability that can help improve response time.
To withstand near-peer threat attacks, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, designed and manufactures the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, which enables the Marines to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and at higher altitudes, faster than ever before.
In April, the Marine Corps declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the CH-53K, validating the platform's operational readiness to forward deploy Marines and equipment across the globe. The CH-53K was created for the modern fight and has been specifically designed with a digitally-enhanced modern maintenance support environment to dramatically improve the maintainer's experience.
- Joint Force Enablers
For the Marine Corps to gain the upper hand in future battles, they must rely on data. The fight of tomorrow will be increasingly based on collecting data in real-time to make informed, decisive decisions.
The F-35 was specifically designed to meet that challenge. The F-35 can operate as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset and battle manager, sharing information to all networked ground, sea and air assets in the battlespace. This ensures men and women in uniform can execute their mission and come home safe.
The fight of tomorrow cannot be won without investment, today.
Lockheed Martin is committed to supporting the Marine Corps as it transforms into the force of the future, and I look forward to supporting my fellow Marines along the transformation journey.