Sgt. Antonio Jimenez, a field radio operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, records evacuee role players’ information at a processing point during a noncombatant evacuation operation as part of Certification Exercise in Raspberry Creek, Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, Australia, Aug. 12, 2017. During CERTEX, Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, the Logistics Combat Element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, trained to provide security and life-saving support for noncombatants during possible real-world operations. The 31st MEU and Amphibious Squadron 11 are conducting CERTEX, the final evaluation in a series of training exercises which ensures readiness for crisis response throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU partners with PHIBRON 11 to form the amphibious component of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Amaia Unanue/Released)
The future operating environment promises complexities unseen in previous eras. Rapid population increases, mass migrations of people to cities and coastal areas, the rise and resurgence of potential near-peer adversaries, and the continued threat of violent extremist organizations are but a few factors representing an evolution in war’s conduct in the 21st century. Considering these changes, the MAGTF must be able to maneuver in the cognitive and cultural dimensions of the modern IE. Constant advancements in information technology and ubiquitous access to social media allow state and non-state actors, including violent extremist organizations, to influence the world’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors at the speed of the internet. Technological proliferation such as advanced sensing, identification, and tracking capabilities, and improved lethal and nonlethal targeting assets arms state and non-state actors with tools and weapons previously limited to advanced nations.
In July 2017, the Marine Corps approved a new concept for IE Ops. The new concept and actions taken to re-organize, restructure, and further develop the force provided the preliminary means for attaining new institutional IE capabilities. This new IE Ops concept pioneers a comprehensive, coherent path for developing a fifth generation MAGTF. Organized primarily around the four Lines of Effort (LOEs) introduced later in this document, IE Ops identify specific principles, priorities, and tasks for implementation by key stakeholders within the Marine Corps Information Environment Enterprise (MCIEE).
Today’s IE presents opportunities the MAGTF is designed to exploit. Whether supporting Phase 0 operations or fighting as the “inside force,” the MAGTF’s flexibility, mobility, combined arms capabilities, and maneuver philosophy allow it to take advantage of multi domain battle in and through the IE. IE Ops support an information-enabled Marine Corps that is and fifth generation MAGTF capable of winning in and through contested information environments.
Responding to the changing operational environment, the Commandant directed the establishment of a [Marine Expeditionary Force] MEF Information Group (MIG) and corresponding Concept of Employment at each MEF to coordinate, integrate, and employ IE Ops capabilities, thus ensuring the MAGTF commander can accomplish mission-essential objectives. The MIG also provides communications, intelligence, supporting arms liaison, and law enforcement capabilities in support of MAGTF operations. DC I, as the organization responsible at the service level, uses the MCIEE to integrate and oversee IE Ops capabilities, conduct advocacy, and develop associated policy. Conversely, the MIGs coordinate and integrate IE Ops at the tactical level.