MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, VA -- style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;">A Marine Corps Systems Command employee is exchanging the safety of home to serve his county in the Middle East.
Brian Whited, deputy product manager for Marine Corps Network and Infrastructure Services in MCSC’s Information Systems and Infrastructure program office, will soon head out on a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.
“I signed up because I wanted the opportunity to broaden my experience and work directly with our deployed forces,” Whited said.
In his current position Whited procures items necessary to maintain the Marine Corps Enterprise Network, the Corps’ centralized IT network which supports Marines’ communication needs both in domestic operations and on the battlefield.
Whited’s experience as an acquisition professional qualified him for the position as deputy director of the Operational Contract Support Integration Cell for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. In this role he will help OCSIC manage contract support for U.S. operations in the country.
“Brian is one of the most energetic, passionate and experienced program managers that I have served with in the past 20 years,” said Jeff Lee, MCNIS product manager.
Whited received the opportunity through the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce program, a Department of Defense program –launched in 2009—that enables civilian employees to deploy in support of overseas military operations. The deployments are voluntary, and participants use their professional expertise to fill humanitarian, reconstruction, and if necessary, combat support mission needs overseas.
“It is going to be a hard assignment,” Whited said. “We will be working seven days a week—some days for 12 hours—managing contracts in the country and making sure DOD operational requirements are met and kept on schedule. There are 10 different contract subject areas under this command, such as base support, construction and communications, and it’s our job to reduce contract duplication and satisfy contract requirements efficiently.”
Hard assignments are nothing new to the retired U.S. Navy commander, who deployed to several locations while on active duty, including the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and the South Atlantic regions. After retiring from service in 1999, Whited worked as a program manager for AEGIS Test and Evaluation at Naval Sea Systems Command, in Washington, D.C., before coming to MCSC in 2005. AEGIS is a computer and radar technology used to track and guide weapons to destroy targets.
In preparation for deployment to Afghanistan, Whited will go to Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Indiana, to learn how to use an M9 pistol, interact with his Afghan counterparts and handle hostile situations.
Whited’s skills and talent will greatly benefit his new command, Lee said.
“Brian has more than 20 years of acquisition experience in program management,” he said. “The troops will be very fortunate having such a dedicated individual who will support the operations in Afghanistan fully reflective of the values of the Marine Corps.”
Whited has few reservations about his trip, and appreciates the support of everyone back home.
“To my knowledge there are two other employees from MCSC in the Middle East right now, so please keep all of the troops, civilians and contractors in your prayers and thoughts,” he said.
To read more about MCSC’s support for U.S. operations abroad click here.