The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Experimentation Center demonstrated the capabilities of a newly-developed Mobile Modular Command and Control (M2C2) Enhanced Prototype (MEP) here Nov. 20.
The system is a Humvee-mounted command operations center which is the result of the Marine Corps’ need to establish quick command and control while on the move, said Shujie Chang, director, MarForPac Experimentation Center.
In 2001, MarForPac commanders voiced a need for the development of early-entry command and control, and as a result, several Marine Corps groups and the Office of Naval Research have been working together to create an ideal system
General Dynamics, Pelatrin, Akimeka, Oceanit, Referentia and Trex are some of the technology contractors that have been working closely with military researchers in providing modern communications devices and system integration.
The current prototype is in experimental stages, being used in various training scenarios by Marines of the 3rd Marine Regiment.
“It’s great to have ground-level involvement in the design of the system,” said 1st Lt. Jim Parson, 3rd Marine Regiment communications officer. “Marines get real experience with it and put in their two cents as far as what they need, what works and what doesn’t work.”
The system was recently used in Rim of the Pacific 2008 and proved to be a major asset in the exercise.
“Marines were able to come directly ashore and establish communications in no time,” said Parson.
Marines who have worked the system feel it is much easier and more advanced than current systems in place.
“These systems definitely give us an advantage,” said Cpl. Garry Reagan, a radio operator with 3rd Marine Regiment. “Typical command operation centers require set up of tents, laptops, wires and other equipment, but this system can be put right in the vehicle and takes about 15 to 20 minutes to be up and running.”
According to Parson, the breaking down of units for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to smaller levels is causing an enormous strain on command and control capabilities.
“The benefit of the MEP is that it enables a commander to see all his forces on the move much more efficiently than existing equipment,” Parson said.
By 2012, the team hopes to have systems fielded to all divisions.
“With the capabilities available with the MEP, this is the command post of the future,” said Parson.