Located in the 31 Area, the Marine Corps Tactical Support Systems Activity (MCTSSA) is a subordinate command of the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Employing more than 400 military and civilian personnel, MCTSSA provides a broad spectrum of subject matter expertise in support of Command, Control, Computer, Communication and Intelligence (C4I) systems used by the U.S. Marine Corps. For the U.S. Marine Corps’ C4I systems, MCTSSA provides test and evaluation, engineering and support to the operating forces.
MCTSSA was established more than 40 years ago to support the development and testing of automated, computer-based command and control systems. As technology has evolved, so has the role of MCTSSA in terms of systems development and acquisition support. Today, MCTSSA is tasked with providing technical expertise and support throughout all acquisition life cycle phases of assigned systems. With an emphasis on command, control, communications, computers (C4) and network systems, MCTSSA strives to ensure that these systems are engineered, tested, certified and supported in a way that consistently provides the best combat capabilities to our Marines.
The MCTSSA workforce is composed of a cadre of computer engineers, computer scientists, electrical and electronics engineers, information technology (IT) professionals, and active-duty Marines with specific technical specialties. The composition of this workforce allows MCTSSA to provide detailed technical support and subject matter expertise across the entire acquisition life cycle of a given system.
MCTSSA is home to a systems integration environment known as the “VII MEF.” The VII MEF is a constellation of test and engineering labs that collectively constitute a representative MAGTF C4 architecture. The VII MEF provides an instrumented environment that is used to test and certify the various C4 systems in use today. MCTSSA provides expertise in the areas of Test and Evaluation Strategy formulation, development of Test and Evaluation Master Plans (TEMP), as well as the planning and hands-on execution of test and evaluation events that span the range of complexity from simple firmware checks to large-scale system tests intended to test or certify one or more systems.
MCTSSA is designated as the U.S. Marine Corps’ Link 16 Network Design Facility (USMC NDF) for all Marine Corps Link 16 platforms and is responsible for Marine Corps Link 16 network design development, maintenance, configuration management, distribution and operating forces support. In addition, MCTSSA provides direct support to the operating forces by means of:
- The Operating Forces Tactical Systems Support Center (OFTSSC).
- The Tactical Support to the Operating Forces (TSOF) — a worldwide technical service provided under a centrally managed contract.
- Task-organized teams of MCTSSA Marines, civilians and contractors who provide on-site technical assistance to forward deployed Marine units. MCTSSA support can be reached at 800-808-7634, DSN 365-0533 and commercial 760-725-0533.
ASSAULT CRAFT UNIT 5
“THE SWIFT INTRUDERS”
Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU-5) is the West Coast home of the Navy’s newest amphibious assault craft, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC). This unique craft is supported above land or the surface of water by a cushion of air contained within its flexible rubber skirt system. Air cushion technology makes the LCAC the Navy’s only true amphibious landing craft.
An LCAC is capable of carrying a 75-ton payload at speeds in excess of 40 knots. Launching from naval ships located over the horizon, an LCAC has a range of 200 nautical miles and can land troops and equipment on more than 70 percent of the world’s beaches. The ACU-5 base facility complements the LCAC’s high-tech design with state-of-the-art repair and maintenance capabilities.
ACU-5’s location on Camp Pendleton is in keeping with the unique relationship enjoyed by the Navy-Marine Corps amphibious team.
ACU-5 supports a complement of 36 LCACs and employs more than 600 naval personnel. ACU-5 is a U.S. Pacific Fleet unit under the direct command of commander, Naval Beach Group 1, in Coronado, California.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE CENTER
The U.S. Army Reserve Center (USAR Center) provides facilities and logistical support for the training of U.S. Army Reserve personnel and units. Units assigned to the Reserve Center consist of a deployment brigade, water purification and distribution company, terminal service company, diving detachment and water desalination detachment. The USAR Center is at the Del Mar boat basin and can be reached at 760-725-2416 or 760-763-0448.
WEAPONS AND FIELD
TRAINING BATTALION, MCRD
Weapons and Field Training Battalion (WFTBN), at Edson Range in the 31 Area, is a major subordinate command under the commanding general, MCRD San Diego.
It is a self-contained complex containing rifle and pistol ranges, field training areas, classrooms, mess hall, PX, billeting, medical and administration facilities. WFTBN provides Phase II Marine Recruit Training (boot camp) instruction to approximately 20,000 recruits a year in marksmanship, individual combat skills and the Crucible. It also conducts primary marksmanship instructor and range coach’s school. Edson Range was named after Major Gen. Merritt A. “Red Mike” Edson, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient and a distinguished small arms marksman proponent.