MCTSSA Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity

Location:

Camp Pendleton, CA


Contacts:

Ronald Willis - ronald.willis@usmc.mil

COVID Summer Status 2023:

TBD

Student Requirements:

Students must be solely U.S. citizens. (Dual citizens and permanent residents are not eligible.) Students must have their own transportation to the site.

Mission

MCTSSA conducts engineering, cybersecurity, test, and evaluation and provides direct technical support to the Fleet Marine Forces for Marine Corps and Joint Services for command and control, computer, communications, intelligence, sensor and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems and expeditionary combat vehicle systems in order to inform acquisition decisions and make Marines more capable.

About the Lab

Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA) is on the Pacific coast at Camp Pendleton just north of San Diego, California. We conduct engineering, cybersecurity, testing, and evaluation and provide direct technical support to the Fleet Marine Forces and Joint Services. The systems we support are the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) command and control, computer, communications, intelligence, sensor and reconnaissance (C4ISR), and expeditionary combat vehicle systems. We provide the only Marine Corps organic, operationally relevant, MAGTF C4ISR architecture for enterprise-level testing, engineering, analysis, troubleshooting, and solutions. MCTSSA enables Joint Communications Exercises, Joint Interoperability Testing, Tactical Cloud Implementation, Cyber Developmental Testing, Naval Integration and Interoperability, tactical networking/voice, and System of Systems testing.

What is unique about this lab?

MCTSSA technical and operational staff is uniquely divided between civilian engineers, and active duty Officers and enlisted Marines. This combination of on-site technical and operational expertise greatly improves the engineering products and services provided by the activity. We are also one of the few labs that supports air and ground C4ISR systems in one location, which greatly enhances system integration and interoperability of Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) systems.

About the Internship

MCTSSA Camp Pendleton is seeking motivated college students with an interest in expanding their knowledge and developing their hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As part of the internship, students get hands-on experience supporting C4 projects, experiments, test and engineering evaluations, cybersecurity penetration assessments, STEM activities, and tool development under the guidance of experienced engineering mentors.

What will I do any given day as an intern at this lab?

Interns participate in lab functions in a number of ways including (but not limited to) assisting mentors with guided research projects; providing hands-on engineering, cybersecurity, test and evaluation of C4ISR systems in a lab environment; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; team and leadership development; attending technical meetings, seminars and/or conferences; group mentoring sessions; touring labs; and other professional development activities.

What majors and disciplines are a good fit for interning at this lab?

  • Applied Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Programming
  • Statistics
  • Telecommunications

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

As part of the internship, you will get hands-on experience supporting MAGTF C4ISR projects. This includes conducting research, experiments, test and engineering evaluations, cybersecurity penetration assessments, Dev/Ops, test automation, and tool development under the guidance of experienced engineering mentors.

What kinds of projects do interns at this lab participate in?

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned:

  • Enterprise and Tactical Network/Application testing: LAN/WAN systems and protocols.
  • Trade studies and assessment of new and emerging C4 technology: Tactical Cloud solutions.
  • Enterprise and Tactical WAN/LAN network efficiency and cybersecurity: Throughput/Latency.
  • Adversarial Cybersecurity Penetration testing of C4 systems and networks: Cybersecurity.
  • C4 operations and interoperability: Conduct operational scenarios & verify system information exchange
  • Application and Network trouble-shooting and root-cause analysis: Identify the cause of anomalies.
  • Radio Frequency (SATCOM, Tactical Radio, Commercial Wireless, GPS): WAN systems.
  • Radar: RADAR a sensor system used for Air Defense, Air Traffic Control, and providing the Air picture.
  • Test automation: Automate manual operations for repeatability & improve test efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Tool development: Develop tools to stimulate systems under test and for data collection and analysis.
  • In-service engineering: Provide technical support for fielded systems.
  • Deployed support: Deploy technicians to provide on-site support.