The Corps’ elite operators known as the Raiders are looking to buy small portable tech that can knock out cellphones, GPS and the Russian navigation system known as GLONASS to help prepare its special operators for the future battlefield.
The commercial cellphone and GPS jammers were described in a request for quotation posted by Marine Special Operations Command on Friday.
But these portable devices are not for real-world operations. They’re intended to “replicate realistic conditions” special operations forces may face on a future battlefield, Maj. Nick Mannweiler, a MARSOC spokesman, told Marine Corps Times.
The training aligns with the Raiders’ recent assessment of the future operating environment, which was outlined in a recently published document known as MARSOF 2030.
The document called for an overhaul of training, equipping and manning of the Marine Raiders to ensure the special operators are prepared to fight across multiple domains as near-peer rivals begin to challenge the U.S. military.
"The very foundations of current U.S. military strength may be difficult to bring to bear in scenarios where a regional adversary possesses a local advantage that precludes the unilateral application of airpower, ISR or space-based communications/guidance,” the MARSOC document reads.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller often has said the Corps needs to turn off the net and prepare itself to fight in GPS-constrained environments.
In a future fight, the U.S. will no longer be able to operate under the assumption of uninterrupted access to GPS and satellite communications, capabilities the U.S. military has taken for granted during its counterinsurgency conflicts spanning the past 17 years.
And Russian forces in the Arctic may have already targeted GPS systems.
The Norwegian Defense Ministry accused the Russian military of jamming GPS signals during the this year’s NATO Trident Juncture exercise, The Associated Press reported.
“The future is filled with uncertainty, fierce competition and threats from advanced adversaries. We remain committed to ensuring we are postured to meet tomorrow’s challenges,” Mannweiler said.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.