San Diego, Marines Corps Forge New Pact on Advanced Technologies

Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commander, Marine Corps Installations Command, speaks with key leaders in energy conservation about current energy projects on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar at MCAS Miramar, Calif., Feb. 21, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Jake McClung)
Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commander, Marine Corps Installations Command, speaks with key leaders in energy conservation about current energy projects on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar at MCAS Miramar, Calif., Feb. 21, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Jake McClung)

San Diego and the Marine Corps signed a formal agreement Thursday to cooperate on advanced technologies including drones, smart streetlights and renewable energy.

The agreement, called a memorandum of understanding, requires the city and the Marines to exchange technical ideas, review the status of ongoing projects and identify new areas of collaboration.

They will also form joint working groups to develop action plans focused on security, mobility and public works.

"We're building on the long tradition of collaboration between the U.S. military and the city and taking that partnership to the next level for the betterment of the San Diego region," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said during a news conference at City Hall. "We will share our experiences, share our discoveries and share how advanced technology can benefit the people we serve."

Marine Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese said during the news conference that he expects the partnership to help solve problems.

The U.S. Department of Transportation selected San Diego last year to participate in a pilot program on drones, officially called "unmanned aircraft systems."

As part of Thursday's agreement, the Marine Corps will partner with the city on that program, which will test a variety of advanced drone missions over the next several years.

Coglianese said drones can help the Marines with surveillance and communications, but also said they want to make sure drones flying near their bases are friendly and don't accidentally collide with Marine aircraft.

"We need to cooperate together so we don't have that kind of accident at one of our installations," he said.

The city and the Marines will also partner on San Diego's smart streetlight program, which began in 2017, when the city installed 3,200 technologically advanced streetlights that reduce energy costs and help optimize parking and traffic, enhance public safety and track air quality.

The Marines will also help with the city's Get it Done!" smartphone app, which allows people to quickly send reports to city staff of potholes, graffiti and other nuisances along with their exact location.

The app uses satellite data embedded within photos to automatically update the address and location of the reported problems.

This article is written by David Garrick from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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