In a world where technology is king and the capabilities of that technology can determine how Marines take on a mission, the task of supporting them can become just as big of a mission.

“The Capabilities Development Directorate supports the deputy commandant for combat development and integration,” said Len Blasiol, the director of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integration Division. The number one priority is to support operating forces with effective combat capabilities for now as well as in the future.

“The future Marine Corps will fulfill its unique role and extend its legacy as the world’s premier expeditionary fighting force. To enhance its operational utility to combatant commanders, the Corps will be preventative in approach, leaner in equipment, versatile in capabilities…,” said James Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps.

As Marines go forward into the operating forces their main goal is mission accomplishment. These missions can only be carried out if Marines are properly prepared with effective capabilities and supported by units operating collectively.

The CDD creates capabilities by integrating actions in seven areas: doctrine, organization, training, materiel, personnel, facilities, and leadership and education.

These elements must be integrated to support one another, so when the operating forces receive new equipment, for example, also receive the training for that equipment, the doctrine for that equipment, the facilities for that equipment, explained Blasiol.

These types of capabilities and support are seen by Marines daily, but can be taken for granted easily.
Every time a Marine visits the armory to check out a weapon for the range, they are dealing with a weapon that was once just a vision and a part of capabilities development.

“Every piece of equipment a Marine uses is a product of this process; the barracks they live in are a product of this process,” said Blasiol. “The total shape of the Marine Corps and its ability to carryout a mission are all products of this process.”

Blasiol explained that the CDD is learning lessons from the current conflicts overseas, and since the attack on Sept. 11, the Marine Corps has been seeing changes in its capabilities.

The gear is being developed for today’s wars. One of the current priorities concerning gear is to lighten the load of this equipment so Marines can maneuver most effectively under the strenuous conditions of combat without losing capabilities.

The goal is to maintain the powerful, swift and tactically proficient Marine but with a lighter, more compact gear load.

Supporting Marines in combat today while also focusing on the future of the Marine Corps is a daily constant.

According to the Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025, “In a world of dynamic change some constants remain. The superior performance of the Marine Corps, in every environment, is one of those constants. Our creative and innovative mindset ensures that we are agile – adept at anticipating and preparing for events in an increasingly dangerous world. This agility is another constant. Whether in the littorals, where we are most comfortable, or in the mountains of a landlocked nation – Marines will adapt and prevail. We are, and will remain, prepared to fight and win when and where our nation calls.”

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