Equipping our Marines

From Armor & Mobility October 2017 Issue

By MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) is the acquisition command of the Marine Corps, serving as head of contracting authority and exercising technical authority for all Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology programs. With headquarters located on historic Hospital Point, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, the campus is home of the Marine Corps acquisition professionals. The team is made up of Marines, sailors, civilians and contractor support personnel united by a common purpose: to equip and sustain Marine forces with the most capable and cost-effective systems for current and future expeditionary and crisis-response operations.

MCSC traces its beginning to the Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Command (MCRDAC), which the Marine Corps established Nov. 18, 1987. Then-Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Alfred Gray established MCRDAC to streamline the systems acquisition process, incorporate the operating forces in identifying deficiencies, and establish clear lines of authority, responsibility and accountability. From its inception as MCRDAC through the transition to MCSC, the command has remained timely and consistent in providing quality systems and equipment to the operating forces. The technological advantage MCSC provides helps Marines shoot, move and communicate with the winning edge to continue the proud tradition of the Corps, unbeaten in battle in every clime and place. MCSC focuses on the individual Marine and the fighting formations of the Corps—the Marine Air-Ground Task Force or MAGTF.

On Jan. 1, 1992, the Marine Corps designated MCRDAC as Marine Corps Systems Command through Marine Corps Order 5000. The new command streamlined acquisition and life cycle management processes to improve the readiness of the Fleet Marine Force, increase responsiveness and support for the FMF, and reduce costs. The commander of MCSC reports to the commandant for in-service and operating forces support, and the execution of logistics sustainment. For research, development and acquisition matters, the commander reports directly to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

MCSC depends on the expertise of acquisition partners throughout the Corps and the other military services, working closely with the Army’s Program Executive Officer Combat Support and Combat Service Support and Program Executive Office Soldier; the Navy’s PEO Enterprise Information Systems; and the Marine Corps’ PEO Land Systems, which is co-located with MCSC at Quantico. The command recently realigned its organizational structure to equip the Marine Air Ground Task Force with the tools needed to adapt and overcome in any clime and place.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller’s 2016 Fragmentary Order #1, “Advance to Contact,” ordered a comprehensive review of the Corps’ force structure and organization no later than the end of fiscal year 2017. Giving Combat Development and Integration the office of primary responsibility with Manpower and Reserve Affairs in support, he said, “We will be willing to accept risk in the size and organization of our units in order to create the capabilities we need for the future.”

To that end, MCSC concurrently conducted its own force structure review, according to MCSC Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader. The last force structure review was conducted in 2001.

“We looked at our nine program offices, supporting staff elements, and subordinate command Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity to determine if the command was optimally aligned around the nature of the products it provides to the MAGTF,” Shrader said. “Equipping the MAGTF is what makes Marine Corps acquisition unique,” he said. “It’s what makes us relevant.”

Everything MCSC does supports the MAGTF: command and control; force protection; maneuver; fires; logistics and intelligence. The command’s mission is to develop capabilities, provide equipment and integrate them throughout and beyond the MAGTF.

Operational Milestone

On June 1, 2017, MCSC reached initial operational capability—a sea change in the command’s organization that is intended to enhance MAGTF alignment across product lines. This change resulted in a shift from its former structure of nine program offices, with 32 product managers and 87 teams. The new MAGTF-aligned structure features four portfolios that are aligned across the MAGTF elements—with the exception of the Air Combat Element. This new structure has 14 program managers, including two direct-report program managers.

The command is now realigned under the following portfolio managers: PfM Command Element Systems, PfM Ground Combat Element Systems, PfM Logistics Combat Element Systems and PfM Supporting Establishment Systems. Twelve of the 14 program managers are aligned under the portfolio managers, and the program managers for Training Systems and Light Armored Vehicles will continue to report directly to the MCSC commander.

Complete integration of the new structure is planned for Oct. 1, 2017. It will include refining and defining command relationships; aligning operations and customer interfaces with existing processes for prioritizing, resourcing and assessing work; and documenting and comprehensively supporting the organizational design.

Proactive Procuring

MCSC’s acquisition programs range from weapons, tanks and infantry combat equipment, to ammunition, intelligence, and communications and medical equipment. These systems and more are managed by professionals aboard MCB Quantico and other locations in Northern Virginia. MCSC personnel are also located in Warren, Michigan; Camp Pendleton, California; Orlando, Florida; and Albany, Georgia.

In Warren, the program manager for Light Armored Vehicles manages the battle-tested family of combat vehicles that have served Marines since 1983. At Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity provides test and evaluation, engineering and deployed technical support throughout the acquisition lifecycle for Marine Corps and joint service command, control, computer, communications and intelligence systems.

In Orlando, the program manager for Training Systems provides training support, and develops and sustains training systems and devices to ensure Marines are ready for anything they may face while deployed. Meanwhile, MCSC’s Albany workforce manages the majority of funds set aside for sustainment, guiding newly acquired Marine Corps systems and equipment from cradle to grave.

“The future of Marine Corps ground weapons and information technology systems will continue to involve identifying and defeating complex and increasingly sophisticated threats,” said Shrader. “MCSC is prepping the battlefield with an eye on the future. Through our realignment, I am confident we will be better positioned to field the most advanced, affordable and relevant technologies; and increase the speed at which we deliver those capabilities to the MAGTF.”


U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command Leadership

From Armor & Mobility October 2017 Issue

Portfolio and program Managers

PM-GCES equips and sustains the Marine Corps with fully integrated infantry, reconnaissance, armor and fire support weapons systems to increase the lethality of the Ground Combat Element. In partnership with stakeholders, GCES executes the in-service support of fielded equipment to ensure readiness. Within PfM GCES are three program management offices:

Infantry Weapons
Infantry Weapons equips and sustains the Marine Corps with fully-integrated infantry weapons, optics, and non-lethal systems in order to facilitate the closing with and destruction of our adversaries by the Ground Combat Element.

Infantry Combat Equipment
Infantry Combat Equipment equips and sustains the Marine Corps with fully-integrated clothing and equipment, air and amphibious reconnaissance equipment, and body armor to increase the lethality of the Ground Combat Element. In partnership with our stakeholders, Infantry Combat Equipment executes the in-service support of fielded equipment to ensure readiness.

Fires equips the MAGTF with direct- and indirect-fire weapons systems including the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, Expeditionary Fire Support System, M1A1 Tank, and man-portable missile systems needed to dominate in battle. Fires also equips Forward Observers and Artillery units with the targeting systems, artillery survey equipment, fire control, radars, and acoustic sensors that give Marines a critical advantage in the detection of enemy forces and application of Fires on the battlefield.


PM-CES provides and sustains command, control, communications and intelligence capabilities to the MAGTF. Within PfM CES are three program management offices:

Intelligence Systems
The MAGTF requires timely, actionable intelligence to develop plans for fires and maneuver. Intelligence Systems acquires the necessary capabilities to collect, process, exploit and disseminate signal, human and geospatial intelligence and other forms of intelligence-related information.

Command & Control
Focused on ensuring commanders’ access to the information they need to make decisions on and off the battlefield, C2 Systems provides the MAGTF with command and control systems; integration, interoperability and situational awareness; and a portfolio of counter-improvised explosive device and Force Protection systems.

Communication Systems
From tactical communication systems to networking and satellite communications, Communication Systems provides and sustains capabilities needed to accomplish MAGTF missions across the range of military operations. Communication Systems gives Marines the ability to observe, orient, decide and act to maintain the winning edge on the battlefield.


PM-LCES equips and sustains Marine Forces with supply, maintenance, ammunition and engineering systems in order to enable success in current and future operations. Within PfM LCES, there are three program management offices:

Engineer Systems
The Program Manager Engineer Systems provides full lifecycle support for Combat Engineer Systems, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Power Systems, Environmental Control Systems, Bulk Fuel Systems and Bulk Water Systems.

Supply & Maintenance Systems
The Program Manager Supply and Maintenance Systems provides full lifecycle support for Medical Systems, Field Feeding, Rigid and Soft-Walled Shelters, Cargo Containers, and Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment.

The Program Manager Ammunition supports all Marine Corps ground conventional ammunition, explosives and related items throughout their entire lifecycle. They provide operational logistics; supply chain and distribution management; maintenance and strategic prepositioning for Marine Corps ammunition worldwide.


PM-ESE delivers high-quality, effective information technology solutions in a timely and efficient manner. Within PfM SES, there are three program management offices:

Networks & Infrastructure
The MAGTF relies on secure, reliable and effective networks to conduct its warfighting mission–from ground combat, aviation, and command and control, to logistics, intelligence and force protection. Network & Infrastructure provides networks and infrastructure equipment for the Marine Corps Enterprise Network.

Customer Support & Strategic Sourcing
The Marine Corps operates 24/7, requiring information technology services and networks capable of meeting the same demand in an increasingly integrated environment. CS&SS provides and manages enterprise-level contracts that support Marine Corps Enterprise Networks.

Applications develops and maintains enterprise Marine Corps applications and services on the Marine Corps Enterprise Network.


PM-TRASYS improves the warfighting effectiveness of the MAGTF and globally deployed Marine Corps expeditionary forces by providing training support, and developing and sustaining training systems and devices. PMM-130 Training Systems (PM TRASYS)

The Program Manager for Training Systems (PM TRASYS), located in Orlando, Florida, improves the warfighting effectiveness of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and globally deployed maritime expeditionary forces by providing training support and developing and sustaining training systems and devices. They are the training systems acquisition arm for the Marine Corps. The various training products they provide include simulators, mock weapons, range targets and range instrumentation. PM TRASYS also provides training technology research and development, distributed learning capabilities, training observation capabilities, after-action review systems, training personnel and combat environment role players.

The PM TRASYS is tasked organized by teams: Collective Training Systems, Individual Training Systems, and Range Training Systems.


PM-LAV sustains and modernizes the Family of Light Armored Vehicles. PM LAV is comprised of multi-functional acquisition associates who are responsible for the lifecycle management of United States military and foreign allies programs. PM LAV is tasked organized by teams: Obsolescence, Anti-Tank Modernization, Foreign Military Sales, and Fleet Sustainment.


A subordinate command of PM-MCSC, MCTSSA provides test and evaluation, engineering, and deployed technical support for USMC and joint service command, control, computer, communications, and intelligence systems throughout all acquisition life-cycle phases.


Program Manager Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch (PM-AVTB) The (PM-AVTB) is the only Marine Corps test center specializing in the test, evaluation and development of present and future amphibious vehicle platforms. The (PM-AVTB) plans, executes, analyzes, and reports on developmental and integrated test and evaluation events that characterize the performance of amphibious and ground combat vehicle systems.


PM-SEAL was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in December 2015 and is the Deputy to the Commander for Systems Engineering and Acquisition Logistics at Marine Corps Systems Command. In this position, she serves as the senior functional technical authority for all USMC ground and information technology systems. With a vision of designing for supportability in a cyber-rich environment, she directs and controls enterprise-level systems engineering across command product lines and product lifecycles to ensure MCSC provides end-to-end integrated, interoperable and certified warfighting capabilities.


PM-RM was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy to the Commander for Resource Management, Marine Corps Systems Command, on July 24, 2016. As Deputy to the Commander for Resource Management (DCRM), Ms. Reese directs and controls the full range of Comptroller responsibilities associated with the planning, programming, budgeting (formulation and execution) and accounting for all Procurement-Marine Corps (PMC) and acquisition Research and Development (R&D) as well as Operation and Maintenance funds required for the day-to-day operations of Marine Corps Systems Command, the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, and affiliated Program Executive Officers.