Marine Corps Networking On-the-Move Significant Capability
by U.S. Marine Corps Matt Gonzales,
Marine Corps Systems Command is acquiring
innovative command and control capabilities that increase mobility
and communication on the battlefield to support the future fight.
The Marine Corps considers Networking On-the-Move (NOTM) a
significant capability in meeting this objective.
September 22, 2020 - Cpl. Clayton A. Phillips, a network
administrator with Marine Air Control Group 18 Detachment,
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), tests the connectivity
of the Networking On-the-Move Airborne (NOTM-A)
communications system during flight operations from the
amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6). The NOTM-A
provides the mission commander the ability to command and
control forces on the ground while flying above the
battlefield. America, flagship of Expeditionary Strike Group
7, along with the 31st MEU, is operating in the 7th fleet
area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies
and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend
peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine
Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brienna Tuck)
Fielded in 2013, NOTM is a mobile,
satellite communication system that allows Marines to connect to
networks and communicate while mobile or stationary on the
battlefield. The capability enables command and control flexibility
in various environments around the globe.
“In laymen terms,
NOTM is similar to your phone when you’re driving around in your
vehicle,” said Lt. Col. Austin Bonner, MCSC’s program manager for
Command and Control Systems. “It’s giving you access to the
internet—the services and applications you want to use while you’re
on the go.”
Marines can employ NOTM to transmit critical
information to commanders and increase situational awareness in
hostile environments. The mobile system enables Marine leaders to
control their forces and support the warfighter from anywhere on the
The capability comprises two variants: NOTM Ground
Combat Vehicle and NOTM Airborne.
Marines can incorporate the
ground version into systems such as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
and Utility Task Vehicle. The Marine Corps also has plans to install
NOTM-GCV onto the Amphibious Combat Vehicle and the Advanced
Reconnaissance Vehicle in the future.
Marines can use the air
variant on aircraft platforms such as the MV-22 and KC-130. NOTM Air
enables them to provide critical information communication to a
command post while en route to a given destination.
In August 2021, 3rd Marine Regiment and Marine
Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii tested
NOTM Air on an MV-22 Osprey to grow familiar with the system.
Marines integrated the satellite system onto a prototype Utility
Task Vehicle and wheeled onto aircraft to display its mobility and
September 22, 2020 - Capt. Peter M. Lamoe, a V-22
Pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262
(Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, flies behind
an MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262
(Reinforced), during a Networking On-the-Move Airborne
(NOTM-A) training exercise from amphibious assault ship USS
America (LHA 6). The NOTM-A provides the mission commander
the ability to command and control forces on the ground
while flying above the battlefield. America, flagship of
Expeditionary Strike Group 7, along with the 31st MEU, is
operating in the 7th fleet area of operations to enhance
interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a
ready response force to defend peace and stability in the
Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl.
It was the first time these groups have
used NOTM on an aircraft.
“Networking On-the-Move is an incredible
capability that provides airborne access to information that is
otherwise inaccessible,” said Maj. Christopher Montgomery, the
aircraft maintenance officer with VMM-268.
capability, Marines primarily communicated using radios while
stationary. They would often sit static for long durations of time
to collect data needed to visualize the current operational
environment, said Bonner.
NOTM provides mobility they
previously did not have. First Lt. Philippe Bergeron, of 1st
Battalion, 3rd Marines, tested NOTM during Island Marauder 21. He
applauded the system for its ability to provide internet services to
“NOTM provides services to the commander while on
the move, so there's no gap in communication,” said Bergeron. “This
system enhances a commander's ability to receive updates or to track
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David
Berger considers NOTM a key capability in meeting future
service-wide goals, as stated in Force Design 2030. A critical goal
for the Marine Corps is to acquire next-generation capabilities that
support a concept called Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations.
EABO espouses the employment of systems that increase mobility
and communication on a future battlefield around the globe.
Increased mobility and communication are pillar characteristics of
NOTM, as it enables Marines to maintain command and control while
stationary or on the move, said Bonner.
NOTM will also
support a new Marine Corps concept called Stand-in Forces, which
explains how Marines can operate effectively with allies and
partners from within a contested area. The concept describes how
forward-postured, steady-state forces operating in contested areas
while remaining capable of transitioning rapidly from competition to
crisis to conflict and back again.
“NOTM is a critical
capability for Force Design 2030 primarily because the system
supports new concepts that are driving Marines to be more
distributed, more displaced, less of a static command post,” said
Bonner. “It gives Marines increased flexibility across multiple
In the future, Marines may engage with
adversaries on remote islands in denied, degraded, intermittent or
limited communications environments within the Indo-Pacific region.
However, communication remains critical for mission success in this
Capt. Kevin Lin, the NOTM Capabilities Integration
Officer at Combat Development and Integration, said NOTM provides
beyond line-of-sight communications capabilities that enable access
to critical services and applications, in this non-permissive
“It provides the ability for the Fleet Marine
Forces to access these services while transitioning between air,
land and sea without having a gap in information exchange or
situational awareness,” said Lin. “NOTM allows Marines to rapidly
maneuver and maintain communications simultaneously.”
capability also increases interoperability among the joint forces—a
key objective found in the Commandant’s Planning Guidance. Berger
has repeatedly emphasized the need for the Marine Corps to become a
more naval force to support joint all-domain command and control, or
The Marine Corps is working with the Navy to connect
NOTM to a satellite terminal on a naval ship, said Bonner. As
Marines come ashore from naval platforms, they can communicate back
to the ship using NOTM.
Communication is critical on the
battlefield. Bonner said the increased interoperability that NOTM
provides better prepares Marines for naval warfare, including
island-hopping missions, on a future Indo Pacific fight.
“Networking On-the-Move supports present and future Marine Corps
goals,” said Bonner. “For us, it’s all about supporting the
warfighter—and NOTM absolutely fulfills this objective.”
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