Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory

Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory

Only U.S. Citizens will be considered for this facility.  Dual Citizenship will not be considered at this lab.

Current research facts and interests are as follows:

MCWL’s purpose is to identify and address future challenges and opportunities, develop warfighting concepts and comprehensively explore options in order to inform how we are to operate and fight in the future. The Commanding General of MCWL also serves as the Director, Futures Directorate, the Vice Chief of Naval Research, and the Executive Agent for Science and Technology.  MCWL is organized with five major divisions, Futures Assessment, Concepts and Plans, Wargaming, Science and Technology and Experiment.  Through these divisions MCWL assesses and predicts future environments, writes concepts and concepts of operations (CONOPS) to enable Marines to engage in those environments, conducts wargames to assess the concepts and CONOPS, develops and procures experimental technology to address technological gaps in the concepts and CONOPS and finally executes live-force experiments to determine the viability of, and refine the concepts, CONOPS and technologies being explored.

Currently the MCWL focused approach includes;

  • Sea Dragon Campaign of experimentation assessing Marine Corps Force 2025 restructure: The Marine Corps is embarking on a program of restructuring that stretches from the infantry squad to the Expeditionary Force headquarters and beyond to the Supporting Establishment.  The intent is to field a more capable fighting force that leverages emerging capabilities and technologies.  Specifically Information Operations, Information Warfare and Electronic Warfare are being emphasized.  MCWL has been provided a dedicated experiment force in 3rd battalion 5th Marines to work with for the next 12 months as they go through exercises and an operational deployment.
  • Manned-unmanned teaming:  Integration of robots into the Operating Forces is gaining speed and new tactics, techniques and procedures are required to ensure robots are used effectively and safely. 
  • Alternate shipping platforms and investigation of autonomous connectors: A lack of amphibious transport has required Marines to make the maximum use of all potentially available shipping.  Recent experiments with the T-AKE and T-AVB have shown potential capabilities for these platforms to execute some missions.  Additionally, in order to combat the Anti-Access Area Denial capabilities of potential enemies development and experiments with autonomous connectors is called for.
  • Logistics Demand Reduction:  Enhanced communications and supporting firepower have enabled the Marine Corps to distribute forces in wider geographic areas presenting the enemy with a multitude of targets and a constantly changing dynamic.  However, resupply of these units is a challenge.  By reducing demand through efficient energy consumption, water purification and other methods the resupply problem can be reduced. 
  • Military Operations in Urban Terrain:  Studies have shown that urbanization is progressing around the world.  The growth of mega-cities is rapid.  Consequently, expectations are that the Marine Corps will need to fight in large cities, an area the military has attempted to avoid in recent conflicts, in the future.  MCWL is participating in wargames focused on urban conflicts and when possible locates live-force experiments in urban areas. 

While not comprehensive the above describes some of the main areas of experimentation at MCWL.  Everything is focused on making the Marine Corps a more effective fighting force attuned to the potential threats and enemies in the future.