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Joint Forces Journal

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VOL. 24 - NO. 32
AUG 18 - 25, 2019
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OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

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Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

Marines Want to Equip Armored Recon Units with Long-Range Fires

Mar 07, 2019
by Matthew Cox
U.S. Marine Corps officials will sit down soon with defense companies to discuss how to equip light armored reconnaissance (LAR) battalions with futuristic long-range precision fires.

Marine Corps Systems Command recently released a request for information on innovative ideas for equipping LAR battalions with a mounted indirect-fires capability, beginning in fiscal 2022, that could hit targets at ranges out to 100 kilometers, said Jeff Nebel, fire support coordination team lead for Program Manager Fires.

"We have identified a gap in the ability for LAR to provide indirect fire that extends further than their current capability," he said. "What we are looking to do is provide them with an organic indirect-fire capability that can reach out to extended ranges."

The new capability would supplement the current 81mm mortars LAR companies use to support platoons operating forward, Nebel said.

"This would give them the ability to provide support to the platoon at ranges significantly greater than ... what they can currently do with the 81mm mortars," he said.

The service has scheduled an industry event March 13-14 to discuss possibilities for the program, including an advanced vehicle-launched loitering aerial munition.

"What we are trying to do is make sure we are not developing yesterday's system today, so we are really trying to look forward," Nebel said, adding that the Marines are looking for small, non-traditional businesses "so we can see, is there something out there that is available that we can incorporate into our capability?"

The Marine Corps also wants to develop a government-owned command-and-control (C2) system instead of going with a vendor proprietary system, he said. That way, vendors can build systems that are designed to work with the government C2 system.

"This would allow us to potentially award contracts to multiple vendors, as opposed to going to a single vendor," Nebel said.

The Marines hope to award a contract during the first quarter of fiscal 2020 and anticipate some type of a demonstration eight to 12 months later, he said.

From there, the Corps would buy a small quantity to field in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, Nebel added. "We would field an initial capability, and then continue to build upon that capability to really make the best use of innovation," he said.

* * * * *

Photo caption: Marines with Light Armored Reconnaissance Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 11th MEU, fire a light armored vehicles 25mm Bushmaster chain gun during an exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)


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