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US Marines Launch Fusion Center for Faster Fielding of Cutting Edge Tech

The US Marine Corps has announced a Fusion Center at its base in Quantico, Virginia, aimed at streamlining the service’s capabilities acquisition process.

Established a few months ago with little fanfare, the center will bring together officials from the service’s science, technology, requirements, and acquisition offices to help better align under-development technologies with the Marines’ requirements.

Its initial focus will be on counter-drone technology following the extensive use of unmanned aerial vehicles in Ukraine and in the Middle East.

Fusion Center

The center’s purpose is to get “all of us at Quantico [to be] able to go into the Fusion Center and to be able to talk through what are those issues that exist,” Breaking Defense quoted Brig. Gen. Stephen Lightfoot of the Marines’ capabilities development directorate as saying.

“We can sit there and go, ‘What does [science and technology] have in the future for us? Okay, how much overlap do we have in some of these capabilities?’ So, with a limited number of resources, it helps us figure which are the ones that we need to go after that are going to fill our [capability] gaps.”

To Navigate Acquisition Limbo

The Fusion Center will absorb the service’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and help navigate the acquisition limbo between development and full-scale production faster.

The RCO was launched by the Marines and other services as a fast-track alternate acquisition route of key systems and technologies.

“We stepped back and we reimagined the RCO,” Breaking Defense quoted Kevin Murray, the chief technology officer under the Marines’ capabilities development directorate, as saying.

“Instead of really focusing on building new things and adding to the pile, we recognized. … We need to build an organization in the middle that allowed us to transition capabilities out of this incredible [research and development community] that’s out there with billions of dollars every year and we weren’t leveraging it to the maximum extent we possibly could.”

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