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Show Report: Modern Day Marine Expo 2017

By Robert Bruce

The Latest Innovations in Military Equipment and Systems

Now in his third year as Commandant with a third visit to Modern Day Marine (MDM), four-star General Neller delivered his keynote address, “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment,” to an overflow crowd on Wednesday in the cavernous Briefing Center tent at the 2017 Modern Day Marine Expo.

With “littoral” defined as that portion of the world’s land masses adjacent to the ocean within direct control of and vulnerable to the striking power of sea-based forces, Neller emphasized that the Navy and Marine Corps will have to “fight to get to the fight,” facing adversaries with long range precision weapon capabilities.

(Editor’s Note: The official MCO document on which Commandant Neller’s presentation was based is available for download at https://marinecorpsconceptsandprograms.com/concepts/littoral-operations-contested-environment)

Much More Than a “Trade Show”

Commandant Neller’s hard-hitting predictions add tremendous weight to the importance of MDM Expos as essential, multifaceted resources for the Marine Corps’ warfighters at all levels and for the defense industry to anticipate and offer solutions for both present and future needs. These needs include everything from hydration to hypersonic weaponry, from biscuits and boots to battlefield digitizing and much, much more.

Sobering Sessions and Preparedness Panels

Near term equipping for the Corps to fight and win in extraordinarily lethal littoral zones is a daunting challenge but ably addressed
in a series of open briefings kicked off on Tuesday morning by Brigadier General Joseph Shrader, who heads up Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC).

MCSC’s managers laid out needs for Command elements, Ground Combat, Logistics, Support, Training and Wargaming.

Naturally, Ground Combat was our main focus, with Colonel Mike Manning detailing 15 specific areas of primary interest. Among these are opportunities to provide improved vehicle protection from various explosive warheads and more sophisticated weapon sights. Specific requirements are noted in several RFIs/RFPs including Squad Common Optics and Suppressors.

(Editor’s Note: All of these Planning Briefs to Industry are available for download at MARCORSYSCOM.marines.mil Click the COMMAND BRIEFS TO INDUSTRY bar.)

Rounding out Tuesday’s program were briefings on Science and Technology, Non-Lethal Weapons and a very welcome tutorial for small businesses on...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N3 (March 2018)
and was posted online on February 9, 2018

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