The Corps is planning a series of experimental exercises to test its information warriors in exploiting and navigating the complex information terrain.
The Corps calls it “operations in the information environment,” or OIE, and I Marine Information Group, or I MIG, has been selected for the fiscal year 2019 series of experimental exercises.
“This approach to Marine Corps operations in the information environment (OIE) will significantly impact future MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task Force] operations across all domains,” reads a statement from a MARADMIN posted Tuesday. “Therefore, experimentation to assess and evolve this nascent organization and its associated concepts is critical.”
The exercises are a spinoff of last years Sea Dragon 2025 exercises that experimented with new infantry squad sizes and kitted up grunts with the latest and greatest tech.
Out of that experimentation, the Corps decided to cut its infantry squads down to 12, add a drone systems operator and is in the process of overhauling equipment and gear.
The Corps is amid plans to retool its forces for a future fight with a near-peer adversary like Russia and China. Both adversaries already boast impressive electronic warfare weapons and sensors to exploit the electromagnetic spectrum.
The Marines are prepping its forces to navigate the information environment and even grunts are getting in on the game.
Experimental exercises have slowly been equipping infantry Marines with a range of electronic warfare equipment and sensors to aid them in the futuristic battle that lies ahead.
In 2017, the Corps reorganized its Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters, or MEF, into the various MEF Information Groups. The MIGs are comprised of Marines with skillsets ranging from intelligence, cyber, and electronic warfare.
Units conducting OIE experimentation are expected to “submit all OIE lessons learned and after-action reports to the local command’s Marine Corps Center For Lessons Learned (MCCLL) program analyst for loading to the Marine Corps Campaign Of Learning Information System within 30 days of exercise completion,” according to the MARADMIN.
“An OIE assessment conference will be conducted in late FY19/early FY20 to inform and support combat capability development decisions and inform future experimentation requirements,” the MARADMIN reads.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.