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MCSC equips the Nation’s ‘middleweight force’ to win

9 Jun 2011 | Bill Johnson-Miles and Barb Hamby, Corporate Communications

"The Marine Corps is America's Expeditionary Force in Readiness, a balanced air/ground logistics team, forward deployed and forward engaged,” said General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “We are a middleweight force. We are light enough to get there quickly, but heavy enough to carry the day upon arrival. We operate throughout the spectrum of threats – irregular, hybrid, or conventional – or the shady areas where they overlap. Marines are ready to respond whenever the Nation calls – wherever the President may direct.”

It is this middleweight force that Marines Corps Systems Command (MCSC) supports.

“Our Priorities are our Commandant's priorities,” said Brigadier General Frank Kelley, MCSC Commander. “The first priority is supporting the fight in Afghanistan. That's the number one priority. That is not going to change. And you know what? This Command has been doing that, for, you could say 10 years now. And we know how to support that fight. The next one is sort of looking to the future, rebalancing our Corps, experimenting, and using new and innovative ways to make us a more efficient, work-fighting force.  The next priority is education and then, finally, keeping faith with our families, civilians, Sailors and Marines.”

“This Command is responsible for the execution of the programs, the management of the programs, and ultimately for acquiring and fielding these capabilities based on the requirements and based on the resources that we have to our operational forces,” said Dr. John Burrow. “And I would argue we’re very, very successful in doing that.”

But to stay successful, the Marine Corps acquisition workforce needs to continue to improve.

“We need to be smarter; we need to be more agile,” Kelley said. “We need to think about more efficient ways to accomplish our mission within the acquisition enterprise. We need to respect the American taxpayer and look for the value in every dollar, squeeze the maximum value that we can spend out of every dollar.”

Partnering with other commands helps to stretch the taxpayer’s dollar. It’s just the smart thing to do. That’s one of the reasons MCSC works closely with and supports Program Executive Officer (PEO) Land Systems (LS), along with other organizations, such as the Army’s PEO Ground Combat Systems regarding Robotics and the Navy’s PEO Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) regarding Global Combat Support Systems–Marine Corps (GCSS-MC).

MCSC not only equips Marines; the Command also trains them and teaches them how to properly use the equipment. This helps Marines to successfully accomplish their mission and to come home safe. That makes working at the Command a very rewarding experience.

“I remember the motto ‘Freedom isn't Free,’” said Natalie Dunbar, MCSC’s Acting Director for Life Cycle Logistics. “And I feel like, if I'm not out there carrying the rifle or out there fighting the battle, the least we can do is work as hard as the day is long to make sure that they have confidence in the products that we put out and that they can perform their mission with high confidence that the system will do what it's supposed to do when they need it to do it.”

“I think that every life is precious, especially that of my sister who is over serving a one-year tour in Afghanistan,” said Staff Sergeant Coral Guilbe, Office of the MCSC Chief of Staff. “I sleep better at night knowing that she is equipped and well protected with the products that come out of MCSC, and it’s like she is doing her part to serve her country, and we are doing the same here.”

“I think what we do here is important for equipping our Marines to win because when the Marines win we feel a sense of pride ourselves,” said Kim Yarboro, Business Manager, Program Management Competency Lead, GCSS-MC. “The systems, the tools and sometimes the training we provide our Marines gives them the skill set and the equipment they need to win the battles, to win the wars, to accomplish the mission.”

Members of the Command’s workforce are well-connected and passionate about their mission.

“Equipping the warfighter to win is personal to me,” said Beverly Hobbs, MCSC’s Director of Career Management, Contracts Competency. “I actually have two nephews who are Marines. And I take personal ownership. Whenever we see one another at family gatherings, they’re always on me about what works and what doesn’t work. … So it’s personal to me that we ensure that our Marines have the very best, because they need to be agile. They need to be able to win in the situations that they’re in, and so we have to equip them to win.”

“We make a difference,” Burrow said. “There’s not a day that I go home where I don’t think that we’ve pushed the ball farther down the field in terms of supporting the operational forces.”

“This is tough work,” Kelley said. “Everybody’s got an opinion about what we do. These are challenging times for us. What we do is very, very important. And I can’t think of a better place to be at this time in our Corps’ history because we are going to play an absolutely vital part in our Corps’ future.”

Marine Corps Systems Command