Timely and assured C4I has become critically important for the Marine Corps, but it is not clear to the committee that ONR Code 353’s programs properly reflect this fact. The committee believes that the Marine Corps can, to a large extent, leverage the C4I systems being designed and built by other Services. This is, of course, far preferable to designing such systems for the sole use of the Marine Corps. However, its unique mission and operational concepts will lead to certain gaps where the Marines Corps must take the lead. Examples include providing assured, coherent C4I services to Marines in transit across the sea-land boundary in AAAVs and to Marines who have penetrated deeply into enemy territory. ONR Code 353 can be very effective in helping design economical and effective means to bridge these gaps.
The existing C2 programs are rather diverse. Indeed some of them may be serving no useful purpose. The coming year, therefore, may well be a good time for ONR Code 353 to take a systematic look at its programs and prune away those programs that are not closely focused on core needs for the Marines. It should devote all of its time and energy to filling in those key components of C4I technology and other aspects of information superiority that will not otherwise be funded and that will, if provided, directly enable the Marines’ operational vision.