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The US Marines Corps has been experimenting new technologies in order to prepare for future wars. Live experiments allow the service to realistically see if a particular system was fit for the battlefield, said Lt. Col. Dan Schmitt, head of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory field testing branch.
During the experiment process, the service looked at the size of squads, contemplated how to incorporate manned-unmanned teaming and examined mobility issues, as forces with the greater tactical and operational capability have an advantage.
The service must also prepare for increased conflict in urban areas, Schmitt said. It is projected that there will be a steep rise in coastal populations, with millions of citizens clustering themselves into megacities filled with subterranean tunnels and skyscrapers.
One of the biggest takeaways from the experiment was that the individual Marine is a “tremendous innovation engine,” Schmitt said. “The creativity of our Marines and small teams gives us a significant advantage,” he said. When exposed to new tools developed by industry and other research-and-development partners, Marines often find unique ways to employ the technology in a way that has a strategic effect, he noted.
According to nationaldefensemagazine.org, other efforts the service embarked on recently include its first advanced naval technical exercise experiment, where it asked industry to develop new ways to move Marines from the ship to the shore in contested environments.