US Marine Corps, MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO: An ancient Chinese proverb says change is like a dragon: you can stand in its way, in which case it will destroy you with its power; you can run from it, in which case it will rapidly overtake you and bury you; or you can jump on its back and let it take you where it will into the future.
The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, which adopted the symbol of the dragon at its inception to demonstrate its commitment to an open exploration of change, will put this ethos to the test in the next few years, culminating in a major experiment of the distributed operations concept as part of a ship-to-shore sea-based maneuver in 2008.
The Warfighting Lab emerging from the 2005 restructuring of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command as a more streamlined entity, more integrated into the combat development process than ever before while adding an even greater emphasis on providing new capabilities immediately to leathernecks in the fight. In addition to its previous responsibilities, the lab gained the job of developing Marine Corps concepts and concepts of operation.
In addition to its existing five divisions, the Warfighting Lab absorbed three more from the former Expeditionary Force Development Center: Concepts and Plans Division, Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Division (located in Suffolk), and once again joined the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities.
James A. Lasswell, Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory technical director, said that under the restructuring the lab is now the front end of the capability development process, consolidating concepts development, wargaming, and experimentation while continuing to focus on assessing new technologies that could support warfighters in current operations.
Laswell said the lab is the combat developer
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