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Project on Government Oversight

LEAKED DOCUMENT: Urgent Requests at Marine Corps Stymied

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May 31, 2007

The U.S. Marine Corps' rapid acquisition system has failed repeatedly, unnecessarily delaying and, in some cases, denying urgent requests by Marines for equipment, according to a document made public by POGO today. The document was first reported on by the Associated Press last week.  Click here to view the document.

The document consists of briefing slides which were part of a cancelled March 2007 presentation to the Defense Department's Office of the Director for Defense Research and Engineering by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force's (I MEF) technology staff, after a year long deployment in Iraq .  Though the document is unclassified (it is marked "For Official Use Only"), only the first eight pages are being made available due to some schematics which give insight into how some of the requested systems work.  POGO has, however, transcribed the names and timelines of those systems below.

Despite over 130 urgent need requests (known as Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONs) or Urgent Universal Needs Statements (UUNSs)) from 1 MEF while it was deployed in Iraq, less than 10 percent were fulfilled and many were "cancelled, delayed" or led to solutions which were not asked for.

Before November 2006, the document says that the requests "frequently languished" at Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) level until Central Command Chief of Staff (CoS CENTCOM) "intervened," restoring urgency to the process.

Among the most "outstanding urgent deficiencies," according to the slides, is the need for Counter Improved Explosive Device (CIED) technology, including Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and for Area of Responsibility (AOR)-wide surveillance, including Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).  The AP story last week describes the delays in the MRAP program and Wired News today broke news on the Scan Eagle deficiency.

The presentation describes some of the most dire threats Marines face such as an anticipated larger number of explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) and more victim-operated improvised explosive devices (VO IEDs), also known as suicide bombers.

"The Congress should undertake an in-depth investigation into the situation with rapid acquisition at the Defense Department to ensure that the right balance is struck between getting equipment into the field rapidly while maintaining accountability," said POGO's defense investigator Nick Schwellenbach.

He added: "There is obviously some healthy tension between the traditional acquisition community's desire to ensure that money is spent well on tested and robust systems and the need to get systems into the field rapidly, but Marines in the field cannot wait years while known and proven off-the-shelf solutions exist. The authority for rapid acquisition is there, unfortunately breakdowns in the system are leading to unnecessary delays."

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles (from page 10 of 2007 Presentation)

17 Feb 2005 | Marine Expeditionary Forces (IMEF) Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed (1169)

10 July 2005 | MEF Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

21 May 2006 | MEF Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

28 Sep 06 | MEF Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) denies UUNS 05, citing expenses, M1114, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) initiative

Total Time Elapsed:
19 months (Feb 2005 - Sep 2006)

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Ground Based Observation and Surveillance System (G-BOSS) (from page 9 of 2007 Presentation)

6 June 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement signed

7 Jan 2007 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

Additional Notes:
Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) supporting with over $100 million is enabler of C-IED mission
Growing implementation delays with programmatic resistance

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Tier II Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) (from page 11 of 2007 Presentation)

27 July 2006 UAV Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

7 January 2007 G-BOSS Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

Additional Notes:
60 UAV JUONS for Tier II currently at JRAC
Resistance to SE due to alternate program paths and priorities
Delays negatively affecting operations

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Biometrics Local and Wide Area Network Gateway (BLAN-WANG) (from page 12 of 2007 Presentation)

4 Feb 2007 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS currently at Central Command (CENTCOM)

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Dual Effects Stand-Off IED Neutralization System (DESINS) (from page 13 of 2007 Presentation)

28 Nov 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

23 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively
Army concerns with interference with the reactive DUKE

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Advanced Roller IED Neutralization System (ARINS) (from page 14 of 2007 Presentation)

25 Jan 2007 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS currently at Central Command (CENTCOM)
Prototype developed by CDR Carey and employed successfully

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of MRAP Explosively Formed Penetrator Total Defeat Capability (from page 15 of 2007 Presentation)

7 Jan 2007 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

13 Jan 2007 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Angel Fire Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capability (from page 16 of 2007 Presentation)

15 Sep 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

1 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS approved by Joint Rear Area Coordinator (JRAC)
Angel Fire first spiral will support MNF-W beginning in the summer of 2007

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon (PASDEW) System (from page 17 of 2007 Presentation)

20 Nov 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

3 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Long Range Non-Lethal Weapon System (LRNLWS) (from page 18 of 2007 Presentation)

12 Nov 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

1 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
Joint Rear Area Coordinator (JRAC) approved LRNLWS JUON with ADS System 2 leading off

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Directed Energy Low Altitude Air Defense System (DELAADS) (from page 19 of 2007 Presentation)

16 Dec 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

29 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Small Unmanned Combat Arial Vehicle (SUCAV) armed Tier II UAV (from page 20 of 2007 Presentation)

30 Sep 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

23 Nov 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Cognition-Based Electromagnetic Pattern Analysis System (C-BEMPAS) (from page 21 of 2007 Presentation)

1 Nov 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

1 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Ground Penetrating Radar System (GPRS) (from page 22 of 2007 Presentation)

26 Sep 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Compact High Power Laser Dissuasion (CHPLD) Capability (from page 23 of 2007 Presentation)

9 Jun 2005 II Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

29 Dec 2006 I Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
Timely purchase and use of systems bureaucratically delayed
Programmatic resistance to CHLPDs due to previous sole sources decisions
Subject has received press coverage and Congressional interest, which has led to rapid, positive resolution of many remaining issues

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Tactical Concealed Video System (from page 24 of 2007 Presentation)

22 Feb 2005 1st Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

12 Dec 2006 2nd Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
First spiral shortfalls in power and an unattended operation is identified
2nd UUNS validates the urgent need for this technology, calling for power accessories and broader fielding, as well as R & D for future capabilities.
Currently there is still no System Command (SYSCOM) action, but Congressional interest is high

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Counter Vegetation Urgent Universal Need Statement (UUNS) (from page 25 of 2007 Presentation)

31 Oct 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
Systems Command (SYSCOM) procurement and fielding of desired capabilities still on-going

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Fast- Tracking Attack Weapons System (F-TAWS) (from page 26 of 2007 Presentation)

29 Jan 2007 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
Under Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) consideration in the near future

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Alternative Energy Sources (from page 27 of 2007 Presentation)

29 Jan 2007 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) currently at Central Command (CENTCOM)
JUONS subject of Pentagon article in 2006

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Sniper Location Acoustic Triangularization System (SLATS) (from page 28 of 2007 Presentation)

28 Jan 2007 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
UUNS to be considered by Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC)

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Mobile Acoustic Shooter Detection & Neutralization System (MASDANS) (from page 29 of 2007 Presentation)

18 Oct 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

13 Dec 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Additional Notes:
JUONS and UUNS at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively
HMMWV-based CSV program has generated resistance to MASDANS
MASDANs have developed a fielding delay

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of LongRange Acoustic Device (LRAD) (from page 30 of 2007 Presentation)

6 Jun 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) signed

Aug 2006 Side by side evaluation confirms preference for LRADs over the Sound Commander 3660

Additional Notes:
Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) and System Command (SYSCOM) preferred the Sound Commander 3660 and later insisted on using this device, although none were delivered by Feb 2007
I Marine Expeditionary Forces (IMEF) executed purchase of 28 LRAD 500s to fulfill need

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Robotic Vehicle IED Terminator - Terramax UGV (from page 31 of 2007 Presentation)

10 Jun 2006 Joint Urgent Operational Needs (JUONS) signed

Additional Notes:
Forerunner of this model was deemed ineffective and dangerous to operators
JUONS at Central Command (CENTCOM)

Timeline of Important Events regarding Use of Automatic Language Translation System (ALTS) (from page 32 of 2007 Presentation)

Apr 2006 Urgent Universal Needs Statement (UUNS) submitted

26 Sep 2006 MROC approval of $2 Million

Additional Notes:
Release delayed with 18 months of market research
Focus is on a laptop-based TRANSTAC program at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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