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U.S. Army Cpl. Gregory McLellan and U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Clinton Smith, Joint Corporals Leadership Development Course students, plot grid points during the land navigation portion of Camp Lemonnier's Joint Corporal’s Leadership Development Course at Arta, Djibouti, March 3, 2016. During the evaluation ‎Soldiers, ‎Sailors, ‎Airmen, and ‎Marines had to find eight different points and navigate to those points in a timed event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan DeCook)

Photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel DeCook

A concerted effort: Marine Corps, Army collaborate to strengthen programs

25 Feb 2021 | Matt Gonzales The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marine Corps Systems Command recently joined forces with the Army to identify partnership opportunities that could benefit both organizations.

In January, Marine Corps Systems Command’s Portfolio Manager, Logistics Combat Element Systems and the Army’s Program Executive Officer, Combat Support and Combat Service Support participated in a Home-on-Home conference to discuss collaboration opportunities to build synergy and identify cost savings and avoidance.

“The Home-on-Home collaboration is a great integrated and teaming relationship between the Marine Corps and the Army, with support from leaderships,” said Linda Huizenga, assistant portfolio manager for Program Management with PfM LCES. “It’s an opportunity for PfM LCES and PEO CS&CSS to learn more about each other’s programs and identify areas to support both the Marine Corps and Army.”

This single-day, virtual event represents the culmination of various program management offices assembling and sharing information to develop a common understanding of programs to assess possible collaboration opportunities.

The outcome of these interactions are captured on a Home-on-Home scorecard that provides the level of collaboration taking place on all acquisition programs, and identifies the programs most in need of discussion with leadership.

Opportunities for collaboration

In 2020, LCES Portfolio Manager Col. John Gutierrez spoke with PEO CS&CSS Timothy Goddette about conducting a virtual Home-on-Home to benefit both organizations. Gutierrez served two tours as a product manager at PEO CS&CSS and had developed strong relationships with their leadership team.

“Through our discussions, PfM LCES and CS&CSS recognized the value of conducting a virtual Home-on-Home to identify opportunities of synergy, cost savings and cost avoidance,” said Gutierrez. “We also felt it was important to develop a consistent Army and Marine Corps narrative for future congressional communications.”

Gutierrez noted how PfM LCES and PEO CS&CSS comprise similar programs that align with one another. As a result, PfM LCES and PEO CS&CSS reviewed more than 100 projects for active, planned or potential collaboration during the Home-on-Home conference.

The Army and Marine Corps are already actively collaborating on several programs, including the Rough Terrain Container Handler Service Life Extension Program, a machine that moves 20-to-40-foot ISO containers and shelters on rough terrain, beaches and other surfaces to assist with land and amphibious missions.

"The Home-on-Home collaboration is a great integrated and teaming relationship between the Marine Corps and the Army, with support from leaderships." Linda Huizenga, with Marine Corps Systems Command.

They’re also actively collaborating on the Expeditionary Fire Suppression System Bottle Refill Station—a fully integrated, mobile fire suppression refill system that enables the safe refilling of fire suppression bottles and systems—among others.

The two groups identified nearly 50 areas of potential collaboration, which included the continued sharing of new technology to research for Small, Modular and Hybrid Power Systems, as well as the sharing of test data for the M870 40 Ton Trailer Off-Road Suspension Upgrade.

Marine Corps Systems Command could also potentially work with the Army to discuss areas to collaborate on the development of the Common Tactical Truck or CTT. The CTT is a new Army initiative to replace the current Medium and Heavy Fleet with a single, modular platform.

The Army’s Program Executive Officer, Combat Support and Combat Service Support and PfM LCES intend for Home-on-Home to become a recurring event throughout the year, with a rejoin in June 2021 to further discuss the logistics of these plans.

From potential to reality

Home-on-Home fosters collaboration between the Marine Corps and Army to ultimately save each service time and resources. These collaborations also demonstrate the organizations’ commitment to more efficiently use of tax-payer dollars.

Lou Anulare, an LCES civilian assigned as the Army’s product officer for the Tactical Wheeled Vehicle, Leader-Follower program at PEO CS&CSS, said the information gathered during Home-on-Home helps both services understand not only active and potential opportunities for collaboration, but also why programs may choose not to collaborate.

“This event provides a complete set of information for both Marine Corps and Army leadership to address questions with a common and complete message,” said Anulare.

He believes Home-on-Home is an important event because it helps both services better understand partnership opportunities that otherwise may be overlooked when the drive to meet schedule overshadows potential efficiencies to be gained.

“The benefits of these collaborations, of this event, are numerous,” said Anulare.

Home-on-Home also exemplifies a commitment from Marine Corps and Army leadership to provide time for program managers to identify the opportunities and assistance needed to move certain programs from potential to reality.

“As a senior acquisition leader, I can affirm that we are committed to working with our sister services, stakeholders and industry,” said Gutierrez. “We will do everything we can to accelerate innovation and deliver operationally relevant solutions to enable lethality to the Fleet Marine Force.”

Marc Paquette, MCSC’s deputy portfolio manager for LCES, said the portfolio is excited for continued collaboration efforts between the two organizations and believes this partnership will benefit both services for years to come.

“In these times of increasing budget constraints and the importance of reducing our joint footprint, the collaboration between the teams led by Mr. Goddette, the U.S. Army’s PEO CS CSS, and Col. Gutierrez, will positively impact the Army and the Marine Corps for many decades,” said Paquette.