Marine Corps Installations Command’s (MCICOM) senior leaders and civilian and contract staff had the opportunity to lead and attend the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) Installation Innovation Forum (IIF) November 6-8, 2023. This annual event fostered collaboration and partnerships, bringing together military installation leaders, defense community members, and industry experts with the common goal of developing innovative solutions that increase readiness, resilience, and the quality of life for our service members.
“ADC is where we come together to share successes and discuss innovative solutions to multiple challenges across the spectrum,” said Ms. Brenda Turner- Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Facilities. “Communities are where people, families, and traditions come together. Our 95 Marine Corps and Navy installations and the municipalities that connect them are the ecosystems that allow all of us to succeed and achieve, to survive and thrive. We create, we cultivate, and we continue partnerships with our communities because we do better when we work together.”
This year marked a significant milestone as the forum prioritized military spouses and highlighted the critical role they play in the success of our service members and defense communities. In addition to participating in the military spouse initiative panel discussion, Marine Corps spouses engaged with Maj. Gen. David Maxwell, Commander, MCICOM, where they shared their diverse experiences that underscored current challenges faced by many military families. Their voices exemplified the family backbone of the Marine Corps and presented valuable opportunities for the service to enhance quality of life for its military families.
Just as the military spouse initiative was a new element of the forum, so too was the sense of urgency across the services’ top installation leaders to prioritize and better support the modernization of the force and quality of life of our service members. Rear Admiral John Menoni, Acting Commander, Navy Installations Command, and Maj. Gen. Maxwell discussed this in depth throughout the week.
Maj. Gen. Maxwell noted that as Force Design has transformed the Corps and many guiding documents have furthered the overall strategy, the way in which we support the warfighter, their families, and fight and win wars must evolve as well. He explained an approach that included balancing the four levers for optimization – sustainment, restoration and modernization, demolition, and MILCON – while simultaneously managing risk. He also encouraged those in positions of support to the Marine Corps to open their minds and take on a different perspective, noting that, “how you see the problem can be the problem.”
MCICOM announced Barracks 2030, a Commandant of the Marine Corps initiative to move barracks into the future by strategically investing in barracks infrastructure, management, and utilization.
“Taking care of Marines is a warfighting function,” said Gen. Eric Smith, 39th Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Otherwise, they cannot focus on the mission at hand. Barracks, chow halls, and gyms are key to retaining Marines, and investments in quality-of-life initiatives are truly warfighting needs.”
Additionally, MCICOM rolled out its Installation Campaign Plan for Environmental Resilience and Energy Readiness to prepare and assure installation support in future operations, which Maj. Gen. Maxwell noted “requires collaborating with our neighboring communities on issues of mutual interest and training our workforce on climate readiness and sustainability.”
“This plan supports the objectives of Force Design 2030 and Installations and Logistics 2030 to prepare our installations to support the future force and to enhance installation modernization and readiness,” he added. “It also provides our roadmap on how we will achieve the requirements of presidential, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of the Navy directives, policies, and guidance.”
Additional initiatives at the Installation Innovation Forum:
To garner ideas and best practices from industry, academia, and community members, MCICOM hosted a workshop addressing smart technology for enhanced living conditions for our service members living in barracks and a panel discussion on encouraging energy behaviors among housing residents.
Representatives and leaders from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany participated in panels further demonstrating successful military and defense community partnerships. The Defense Community Infrastructure Program, the Installation Resiliency Review, Intergovernmental Support Agreements, the Compatible Use Program, and the Community Partnership Program were a few programs and means of partnership highlighted to address infrastructure deficiencies, enhance installation resilience, improve service delivery, mitigate encroachment, and build upon and strengthen established relationships.
It is no secret that installation-community partnerships are vital for advancing national security, military readiness, and quality of life. To learn more about installation innovation and resilience initiatives across the Marine Corps and ways to partner with Marine Corps installations, visit MCICOM’s website at https://www.mcicom.marines.mil/ and follow us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/marine-corps-installations-command.
This work, Marine Corps Installations Command Forges Partnerships and Innovative Solutions at Installation Innovation Forum, by Amanda Merritt, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.