Marine Corps Establishing One-Stop Shop for Intelligence Technologies

March 28, 2012
By George I Seffers, TechNet Land Forces SW Show Daily

The U.S. Marine Corps is developing a governance council of colonels to help speed intelligence technologies to the warfighter.

TechNet Land Forces Southwest Show Daily: Day 1

The U.S. Marine Corps intelligence community is establishing a governance counsel of colonels who will make some of the acquisition decisions normally made at the general officer level, unburdening the service’s generals while also streamlining the process for getting intelligence technologies to the warfighters, reported Phillip Chudoba, Marine Corps assistant director of intelligence, speaking at TechNet Land Forces Southwest yesterday in Tuscon.

“I see no reason to burden our general officers with some of these decisions that could be made by responsible colonels,” Chudoba said. The governance counsel will be chaired by a chief technology officer and will include project managers and others. The Marines are looking for a “reasonable, logical way to navigate the system while maintaining the necessary integrity of the technology, the governance and the fiscal resources,” he said.

The council intends to identify relatively mature technologies that the Marine Corps could get into the hands of warfighters within 18 months or less. He said the other services have so far been more successful than the Marines in establishing similar projects and offer great models for the Marine Corps to follow. He cited specifically the Air Force Big Safari office and the Army’s Intelligence Security and Security Command’s Futures Group.

The council will partner with the users on one end and industry on the other, Chudoba said.  “We want to be that one-stop shop for intelligence innovation.”

He also emphasized the important role of the science and technology community and lamented the fact that many great technologies never reach the warfighters.

Getting everyone onboard with the idea, however, poses a challenge. "This has shaped up a little bit like an insurgency we’ve been operating for the last couple of years, and I’ve got to tell you it’s guerilla warfare trying to beat down the doors of the folks who resist. We’re going to get there. We’re not going to give up. We’re going to do this differently, and we’re going to be successful."

He emphasized the need for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data to be pushed down to frontline Marines.

He also stressed the need to work closely with the science and technology community, which does “wonderful things,” but in some cases warfighters never see those technologies, and sometimes the technologies get caught in the quagmire that is the requirements and acquisition process.

Army officials also praised the “geniuses” within science and technology community.

Mike Krieger, Arm deputy CIO, reported that his team had dealt with a mini-crisis just that morning.  After transitioning a top Army official to the Army Enterprise Network, they found out the next morning that his email worked, but his shared calendar did not. They began working the problem at 6:00 a.m. and had found a solution before Krieger had his first cup of coffee on his father’s porch, he said.

Standing in for Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, the commander of the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology (NETCOM) Command, who was unable to attend, Krieger discussed the important work done by NETCOM. He also addressed some of the challenges the command faces, such as budgeting issues.

In 2012, the Army funded about 80 percent of NETCOM’s needs, and he estimated that has dropped to about 70 percent.

For complete TechNet Land Forces Southwest coverage, visit the Coverage and Collaboration site.