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Marine Corps receives first Unit Operation Center

20 Aug 2003 | Capt. Chad Walton

Marine Corps command and control operators will soon have an opportunity to evaluate a new capability as they begin to see the Unit Operations Centers that are now being delivered off the production line.

BGen. William Catto, commanding general, Marine Corps Systems Command, and the UOC team received the first of 15 systems at a ceremony Aug. 15 at the General Dynamics Decision Systems facility in Scottsdale, Az.

"Battlefield commanders will have the power to decide and the certainty to act, using information on digital smart boards rather than paper maps," said Catto. "UOC will re-host current Marine Cops mission application software, interface to current Marine Corps communication equipment and represent a much smaller footprint over the size, weight and flexibility of our current Operation Centers."

The Marine Corps will use the 15 initial systems in the Field User Evaluation and Operational Testing.

Incorporating the lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom is also an important part of both the initial fielding and future enhancements to the UOC program.

"If you do not display data you won't act on that data, " said MGen. Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division in Iraq.  He stated that the Marines need a way to digitally display data.  In addition to incorporating lessons learned in the current configuration the UOC program will continue to analyze the after action reports from Operation Iraqi Freedom to determine what future capabilities must be added in order to support the Marines in the ever-changing battlefield environment.

The UOC system will provide Marine commanders with a mobile, modular command-and-control package by integrating tents, trailers, generators, heating/cooling, non-secure and secret Internet protocol router network, Voice over Internet Protocol intercom, network servers, workstations, and a variety of computer peripheral equipment.

The integration of these items provides each echelon of the fleet with a common, consolidated, reliable command and control picture of operations.

The new operation centers also use a modular, scalable approach to minimize variations in the number of equipment configurations, while maximizing operational flexibility.

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