The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) is readying to release a report in the beginning of fiscal year 2019 with new logistics and information warfare recommendations out of its program to inform senior leadership on tools needed to stay ahead of adversaries’ growing capabilities, an official said Thursday.
Brig. Gen Christian Wortman, MCWL commanding general, told reporters that phase two of the Sea Dragon program has focused on rapid technology experimentation and wargaming to determine a future operating concept for the Marines’ Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) and joint operations with the Navy.
“For phase two of Sea Dragon, we’re about three-quarters of the way through execution of the program. It was a fiscal year effort. And it will culminate early in fiscal year ‘19 with a report similar to the one that we did with our phase one activities,” Wortman said.
The report to senior leadership will include information from the program’s network protection wargame scenarios, logistics-focused live force experimentation with unmanned systems and operational tests conducted with small units to find applications for large formations.
Capabilities and operating concepts included in the report could be implemented within three to four years, according to Wortman.
“We’ve worked in close partnership with the Navy on our future operating concept for applying MAGTF capabilities in support of sea control,” Wortman said. “We’re really emphasizing how we operate from the sea. And once we establish pockets of capability in locations ashore, then focus on how we reverse that capability to meet the challenges of the maritime campaign.”
Sea Dragon focuses on providing recommendations to senior leadership on building out capabilities for the MAGTF from to sea to shore and formulating a joint operating picture with the Navy through 2025 to stay ahead of growing adversary capabilities.
The FY '17 phase one effort focused on infantry battalions, the most recent phase two shifted to logistics, and MCWL continues to work on changes to information environment operations, according to Wortman.
Phase two included an advanced Naval technology exercise focused on urban operations. The scenario was conducted to gain insights into improving small unit situational awareness, operating in the electromagnetic spectrum, exploiting new surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, using robots in manned-unmanned teaming, and strengthening ability of small units to do command and control.
“We’re turning these lessons into programs and continuing our experimentation,” Wortman said.
Sea Dragon wargames have focused on scenarios related to defending Marine Corps networks, managing signatures in complex environments, sustaining the force in contested environments over extended ranges and operating as an integrated Naval force.
Data from the simulations will be rolled into future force develop efforts, according to Wortman.
MCWL officials also conducted logistics-focused live force experimentation to inform Marine Corps requirements for unmanned system to deliver supplies to MAGTF and Naval partners.
“Specifically, we’ve incorporated advanced manufacturing techniques into tactical formations, improved our logistics command and control and situational awareness tools, and incorporated unmanned systems to support the distribution of supplies and to support force protection requirements,” Wortman said.