The Marine Corps is booting counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) responsibilities out of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory and shifting those matters back to the Combat Development Directorate.
Marine officials transferred C-IED issues into the Warfighting Lab in 2004 in order to respond faster to the large number of IEDs killing Marines in Iraq and later Afghanistan. However, with forces moving out of Afghanistan and budgets remaining flat, Marine leaders felt C-IED needed to fall back to the Combat Development Directorate as of Feb. 28.
The Marine Corps isn't alone in re-evaluating the organizations that had been tasked with protecting troops from IEDs. Many have questioned if the need remains for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which was stood up in 2006. Military leaders announced last year that JIEDDO's budget and footprint will drastically shrink even though officials said the threat remains.
Defense analysts and internal military reports have said the IED defeat agencies spread across the military are in many cases redundant and should be streamlined. The Marine Corps found this in their own service and used it as a reason for the move of C-IED responsibility under CDD.
"Many C-IED tasks are now redundant with existing headquarters, Marine Corps tasks and responsibilities," stated the MarAdmin post March 24 to announce the move of C-IED.
Of course, some of the equipment developed and issued by the rapid acquisition agencies to include the Army's Rapid Equipping Force can't be discounted. Innovations such as PILAR, Minotaur and the SUGV 320 were rushed to combat to protect troops.
Questions remain how long that equipment would have reached the war zone under the traditional acquisition system. It's also led many to question if the military's acquisition system needs a significant face lift if it needs separate agencies be created to react to combat needs.