Featured photo courtesy of Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos (I MEF)


The Marine Corps is the nation’s premier expeditionary force. It responds to global crises and defends America’s interests abroad in an ever changing environment. To ensure this force-in-readiness, senior officials use a realistic evaluation of worldwide threats to make recommendations that influence policy, and design extensive training.

On Feb. 17, 2016, Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, participated in a panel discussion at the WEST 2016 naval conference, hosted by U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA, that addressed his strategy for the implementation of the new guidance laid out by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller earlier this year.

The purpose of the conference was for service members to come together and discuss strategic military concepts and training, as well as meet with companies that can assist in making their concepts a reality.

Berger opened up the panel by listing his observations on command and control, and distributed operations in the Marine Corps with an emphasis on I MEF operations.

“Our operating concept in the Marine Corps right now is Expeditionary Force 21, which drives us towards distributed operations,” Berger said during his opening remarks. “In the offense it allows us to spread out, find seams or create seams, and then penetrate quickly. In the defense it spreads us out and it makes targeting a little more of a challenge for the threat.”

Berger acknowledged that with distributed operations there are potential weaknesses, and as technology advances, cyber warfare is the biggest threat.