Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory


Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory

Futures Directorate

Quantico, VA
Experiment Division
Experiment Division plans and executes experiments based on strategic leader guidance, approved operational concepts, and ideas coming from Marines in the operating forces.  In addition, we learn from every experiment we conduct and aggressively incorporate those lessons in shaping future events.  We do not validate concepts; we assess them, identify capability gaps, and ideally modify some of the concept’s precepts.  Experiment Division understands that change is inevitable. This is especially true for warfighting, as new tactics, techniques and procedures must be melded with innovative technologies to give our Marines an asymmetric advantage in their role as the Combatant Commanders’ force of choice for future immediate response operations throughout the world.

The Warfighting Lab is unique in that it uses the operating forces as its experiment force.  We do this because we want an educated customer and unvarnished input from the men and women who have the highest stake in our products.  The quality of today’s Marine ensures a high level of intellectual engagement and thoughtful, clearly articulated feedback – at all levels.
Experiments take multiple forms and use a combination of methods to come to a conclusion.  These include seminars, war games, modeling, simulation, technical assessments, and ultimately live-force operations.  With larger, more encompassing concepts, a series of limited objective experiments is used to examine specific aspects of a designated concept(s), often times culminating in what we call an Advanced Warfighting Experiment that ties together the result of previous years’ experimentation in a single large scale event.

Close collaboration among the four branches of Experiment Division is essential to success. Each plays a role in moving each experiment from beginning to end.
ExDIV Updates
The Experiment Division completed its examination of the Enhanced MAGTF Operations concept during the execution of the Advanced Warfighting Experiment in July of 2014.  This multi-faceted experiment, involving three distributed company landing teams operating from a sea base, was embedded within Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2014.   Upon returning from Hawaii to Quantico, the Experiment Division commenced planning for its next series of experiments associated with Expeditionary Force 21 (EF 21).  EF 21 Limited Objective Experiment 1 was executed at Fort Hunter Liggett during August and September of 2015.   The focus of this experiment was to determine if the addition of internally transportable vehicles (ITVs) to infantry battalions enhanced the overall effectiveness of foot mobile forces conducting air assault operations; and if so, to identify the requirements  for and the quantity of ITVs that should be part of future infantry battalions.   Other efforts during August and September of 2015 included an examination the T-AVB as an alternative amphibious platform and an infantry company baseline assessment, both executed within Exercise Dawn Blitz 15 on the SS Curtiss and Twentynine Palms, California. 

Experiment Division is currently working on reports and X-Files for the efforts mentioned above as well as exploring opportunities for future experimentation within Exercises Balikatan 16 and Rim of the Pacific 16.