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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Steven Manning, with Combat Logisitcs Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, watches parts being printed at the Makerspace on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina April 16, 2019. The Makerspace is a collaborative environment for Marines and Sailors to cultivate an innovative culture to explore new ideas to improve policeis, procedures, or products in order to increase readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Gunnery Sgt. Jason W. Fudge)

Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jason Fudge

Makerspace now open, cultivating an innovative culture within the force

25 Apr 2019 | Gunnery Sgt. Jason Fudge 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Marines across II Marine Expeditionary Force are taking advantage of resources, training and equipment at the Makerspace in an effort to increase combat readiness.

A makerspace is like a 21st century hobby shop where Marines can learn about new technologies and design thinking in order to create in a collaborative environment.

“Your background does not limit you,” said Cpl. Wesley Sweeny, “It’s not a think tank. It’s a do tank.”

Sweeney is a ground electronic maintenance Marine with 6th Marine Regiment. He received temporary assigned duty orders to work at the Makerspace, which is managed by the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
During the event, 20 Marines learned about capabilities and resources available, including information on future workshops on design thinking and critical thinking skills.

“It’s important to have spaces like this to be thinking about how we can achieve superiority,” Sweeny said to a group of Marines during a lunch and learn event. “Competition is really going to drive innovation.”
According to Sweeney, without an understanding of new technologies, programing or electrical theory, Marines will be at a disadvantage in the future fight. This is because of new strategic plans with our near-peer competitors.

During the lunch, Marines who work at the Makerspace spoke about initiatives like the Made in China 2025. The Made in China 2025 is a strategic plan issued by the Chinese government for them to become the leader in high-tech fields across 10 industries according to Sweeney.

In addition to critical thinking workshops, the Makerspace also provides equipment and supplies to make prototypes. The Marines who work at the Makerspace are capable to provide training on software development and additive manufacturing to Marines who have ideas which can impact their commands.

Commands from different units within II MEF have already used the resources available which have made significant impacts to readiness. According to Sweeny, they were able to manufacture a tool which measures bulk liquids for 8th Engineer Support Battalion. The tool had been on order for more than 500 days, so Marines from 8th ESB came to the Makerspace to see if they could make one. In addition to making the tool, they improved on the design, by making it more compact and stronger.

Marines from 2nd Tank Battalion also came to the Makerspace with a problem and an idea to increase proficiency. The Marines at the Makerspace we able to help them create enemy tanks to scale to help with sighting in their main gun. The concept works similar to Marines sighting in their rifles on shooting barrels. Knowing the scale of the 3d printed tank, allows the Marines to sight in their weapons system in the motor pool, saving the unit time and money because they do not have to drive them out to a range.

While the Makerspace is managed by 2nd Marine Logistics Group, the space is available for any Marine to use. They are located on the rear side of building FC 520 in French Creek. For more information contact Makerspace at (910) 451-9296 or 2DMLG_Makerspace@usmc.mil.

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