New Marine Aviation Plan Pushes Digital

Article by: Mallory Shelbourne - USNI News


THE PENTAGON — Key to Marines’ latest aviation plan is using the service’s aircraft to keep small units spread across small islands in the Western Pacific connected through a digital interoperability as it continues its modernization efforts for a lighter, more mobile force.

Following the initial iterations of the Force Design 2030 effort to modernize the service for its island-hopping strategy in regions like the Indo-Pacific, the Marine Corps has a plan to apply those modernization initiatives to aviation with digital links front and center.

“With respect to some of the changes you’ve seen … Force Design 2030 really drove a lot of them. And it also drove the reason why we took a couple of years off, as we started to make some adjustments in order to make sure we were articulating what Force Design was from the aviation perspective,” Lt. Gen. Mark Wise, the Marine Corps deputy commandant for aviation, told reporters on Monday. “And we put that into the programmatic speak of the document itself so that as it came out, it’s as good as the day that it was signed. But things are going to evolve over time and I would expect there would be some changes to next year as we go on, as there are almost every year with a programmatic document like this.”

Wise described his vision for digital interoperability as the “ability to build our own network locally in order to push information to that squad leader, platoon leader, that’s inside the aircraft on his way to a target area. And he’s actually getting real-time [situational awareness] as to what’s happening.”