Integrating space systems operations at the Marine expeditionary force level
Garcia, Robert R.
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The Marine Corps is the nation’s expeditionary force in readiness and is ready to act in any capacity, at any time, and any place. A critical enabler to the success of the Marine Corps against technologically advanced adversaries in remote, austere environments, is the ability to effectively exploit space-based capabilities to maximize the operational effectiveness of the force. To this end, the Marine Corps has invested in a number of tactical space-trained personnel but has not yet fully begun to integrate space operations into Marine Expeditionary Force training, exercises, and deployments. This thesis reveals how dependent the Marine Corps is on space-based capabilities and reviews the current methods by which each Marine Expeditionary Force integrates space into day-to-day operations. This study finds that current progress is hindered due to a poor understanding among staff members of what space can bring to the fight, a non-standardized organizational structure within the Fires and Effects Coordination Center, the absence of uniform space training and assessment criteria, sparse equipment, and a critical lack of dedicated space-trained personnel to help plan for, train to, and exploit space-based capabilities. Recommendations are presented to mitigate these gaps and make better use of a critical capability.
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