That was the beginning of “the concept that we pitch
of every sensor is a shooter and everybody out there is a
node in the network … so we all can contribute,” he said.
Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer who now is
a national security analyst at the Heritage Foundation,
said that concept “is sound,” especially if defense budgets remain under the current Budget Control Act limits.
“With a smaller force, each person and platform
needs to be as capable as possible,” he said. “Plus,
having each aircraft as a combined sensor-shooter
will likely increase responsiveness and effectiveness
in responding to targets of opportunity, reducing or
eliminating delay in handing off targeting information
acquired by one platform for use by another in con-
ducting a strike mission.”
Wood said there were “a couple of downsides” to
the sensor-shooter concept, including adding complex-
ity, weight and cost to the aircraft, which could reduce
service lifespan and performance. But those were offset
by the prospective gains, he added.
“The Corps is clearly betting that the increased
capability is important enough to warrant spending
money that could have been spent
on other modernization efforts,”
With those considerations, the
integration role played by VMX- 1
“becomes even more valuable,”
Wood told Seapower.
Although one of the missions
Davis envisioned for VMX- 1
when it was created is developing
requirements for future aircraft and
systems, Lawson said the squadron
“is not a requirements generator.”
Requirements come out of the
fleet, and go to the requirements
officers at Marine Corps headquar-
ters, “with the input of the oper-
ators.” Those proposed require-
ments are worked by the Combat
Development and Integration
section of the Marine Corps
Combat Development Command
at Quantico, and the requirements
office under Davis, Lawson said.
“We can certainly, based on
what we see, provide feedback for
the requirements generation. We
participate in that process, but we
don’t own that process,” he said.
The same is true of MAWTS- 1,
which participates in behalf of headquarters Marine Corps, he noted.
Lawson, a veteran AH- 1 Cobra flyer and Navy Test
Pilot School graduate, emphasized the value Marine
aviation gets from the close coordination of VMX- 1
with MAWTS- 1, which provides advanced training for
pilots, aircrews and maintenance personnel so they
can return to their squadrons as instructors and planners for their particular aircraft. Because of the skills
and experience of the MAWTS instructors, VMX often
includes them in its operational tests and regularly discusses emerging issues with them, he said.
That is part of the effort to help the program managers “move those programs forward and get them out
to the field quicker,” he said.
The collaboration with MAWTS and others in
Marine aviation is increasingly important with the
growing focus on integration of effort, Lawson said.
“For a lot of those things, it’s really about the integra-
tion, making sure we get the crews talking to each other.
Communications is the biggest challenge,” he said
“But you’re really trying to leverage the corporate
knowledge and the human capital between the two
institutions, more so than anything,” he said. n
An MV- 22 Osprey assigned to Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron
One lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Aug. 2 in the Pacific
Ocean. The MV- 22 was taking part in a Fleet Battle Experiment to explore,
analyze and document its operating characteristics within a carrier strike group.
The MV- 22 has been chosen to replace the Navy’s C-2A Greyhound as the
carrier onboard delivery platform.