The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL) was established in 1995. The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Charles C. Krulak needed an entity within his reach that could study current challenges and analyze future threats affecting the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory made its home at Quantico, Va., the Corps’ Combat and Development Command. There the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory would experiment with ideas of 21st century warfare. Wargames and experiments produced new tactics and technologies to make the Marine warfighter more capable.
Since its inception, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory has grown. Its seven divisions include Experiments, Science and Technology Integration, Technology, Counter Improvised Explosive Device Division, JCDE Suffolk, Operations and Wargaming. MCWL also hosts the think tank, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities.
Grouped together, Wargaming and the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities analyze and assess future threats and opportunities. Experiments handles the lab’s vast array of xxxx . Science and Technology and the Technology divisions develop technologies to place in the hands of the warfighter to combat current challenges. Counter IED looks at ways to defeat the IED and interrupt the network that builds and places the bombs.
In 2010, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is working to “Lighten the Load” of Marines, finding ways to reduce the weight carried by an individual Marine. The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is also targeting the logistics necessary to support a forward operating base. MCWL is looking at new means of delivery via unmanned aerial vehicles, at new tactics by enhancing a Marine Company and by having it perform like a much larger battalion. MCWL continues to work to develop ways to get Marines off the still dangerous roads of Afghanistan.
Wargaming and Experimentation are concentrating on Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway’s thrust for the future – sea basing. The Corps remains an amphibious and expeditionary force. Effective basing on and maneuver from the sea are crucial to Corps combat capabilities.