The U.S. Marines MEF II Innovation Campus recently hosted Level One and Two Additive Manufacturing courses for U.S. Marines, as well as Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 49, Marine Aircraft Group 49, and 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. Support the service level modernization initiative known as “Force Design 2030”.
The Additive Manufacturing course familiarized active duty and reserve service members with computer-aided design (CAD) software and taught students a variety of innovative problem-solving techniques.
As of August 2020, the II MEF Innovation Campus has provided three distinct training evolutions to MALS-49 and 4th MAW.
For this iteration, the Innovation Campus mobile training team organized two different levels of courses – basic and advanced. The course culminated with MALS-49 hosting their second annual Design Innovation Challenge.
“The final culminating event encourages Marines to take a real problem they’ve encountered and come up with a solution and fabricate components out of it,” said Capt. Matthew Guido, MALS-49 additive manufacturing manager.
A panel of judges evaluated the design concepts of the students. Submissions included an easily repeatable MK 49 shoulder strap for pocket flares used by the crew of a downed aircraft, a locking mechanism for a tug horn connector that prevents cables from coming apart due to vehicle movement motorized, and large printed tactile identification plates that can replace weathered plates.
Upon completion of the course, Avionics Marines will complete nine months of on-the-job training to receive the Additive Manufacturing Specialist, an additional military occupational specialty.
A total of 32 US Marines as well as MALS-49 have been trained by Innovation Campus personnel. The course also directly supported innovation efforts under the Marine Corps Service Level Modernization initiative, Force Design 2030.
Going forward, MALS-49 additive manufacturing will continue to support Force Design 2030 as its Marines prepare to transition to the Innovation Lab branch of the recently launched Marine Innovation Unit at the National Guard Base. Stewart aerial.
“The idea is that there is a pool of talent across the Marine Corps with abilities, knowledge, and a willingness to step up from normal business practice, and we need to cultivate that,” Guido said. “Part of Force Design is being able to increase our mission capabilities and overall readiness by using some of the skills and talents that we have organically in our combat forces now.”