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Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory

Futures Directorate, Combat Development and Integration

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 recently completed the Enhanced MAGTF Operations (EMO) Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE); a live force concept-based experiment integrated into Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2014.   This complex, multi-faceted experiment included the employment of three company landing teams (CLT) from the USS Peleliu and USS Rushmore to three distributed sites throughout the Hawaiian archipelago.   The AWE  was designed to enable a candid assessment of organizations, TTPS, and the 16 advanced technologies employed during the experiment while identifying the current capability and technology gaps necessary to fully realize the mandates of the EMO concept and ultimately Expeditionary Force-21.   Experiment Division is currently examining the data collected during the AWE  for future force development recommendations and concurrently planning the next series of experiments.

Other Experiment Division efforts that will occur during the summer and fall of 2014 will include: an assessment of EAB and CLT ops in conjunction with HIMARS supporting the Navy in an anti-surface warfare role during Exercise Valiant Shield 14, examining the Fly-in Integrated Command Element concept during Exercise Bold Alligator 14, the planning and execution of Moving Target Engagement Techniques Limited Objective Experiment 3, designing and implementing modeling and simulation to enhance future experiments, and participation in events associated with the Operate To Know effort.