MCTSSA Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity

Location:

Camp Pendleton, CA

Contacts:

Ronald Willis - ronald.willis@usmc.mil

COVID Summer Status 2022:

TBD

Student Requirements:

Interns must be solely U.S. citizens. (Dual Citizens and permanent residents are not eligible.) They must also have their own transportation onto the internship site.

Mission

MCTSSA conducts engineering, cybersecurity, test & evaluation and provides direct technical support to the Fleet Marine Forces for Marine Corps and Joint Services for command & 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

MCTSSA, Camp Pendleton is seeking motivated high school 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 C4ISR projects, experiments, test and engineering evaluations, AI/ML, cybersecurity penetration assessments, STEM activities, and tool development under the guidance of experienced engineering mentors.

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 high school 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 C4ISR projects, experiments, test and engineering evaluations, AI/ML, 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; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; attending technical meetings; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; group mentoring sessions; team and leadership development; team building workshops; touring labs; participating at outreach events; and other professional development activities.

What Subjects Should Students Be Studying To Be A Good Fit For Interning At This Lab?

The primary subjects of interest include:

  • Behavioral Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Statistics and Probability

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

SEAP interns may assist in a number of projects at MCTSSA including Enterprise and Tactical Network/Application testing using LAN/WAN systems and protocols; trade studies and assessment of new and emerging C4 technology; Adversarial Cybersecurity Penetration testing of C4 systems and networks; conducting C4 operations and interoperability scenarios and verifying system information exchange; application and network trouble-shooting and root-cause analysis to identify the cause of anomalies; Radio Frequency (SATCOM, Tactical Radio, Commercial Wireless, GPS), RADAR systems used for Air Defense, Air Traffic Control, and providing the Air picture; testing automated manual operations for repeatability and improving test efficiency and effectiveness; developing tools to stimulate systems under test and for data collection and analysis; In-service engineering to provide technical support for fielded systems.

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

Automated Testing. Objective: Our aim was exploring the functionality of NRL’s Sage Framework, a tool used to run automation scripts on nodes in a network. The methods used to accomplish this were generating Sage-compatible behavior scripts and learning to use browser and application automation tools. Interns were assigned to deriving original Java and robot scripts, debugging Sage, and create resources for future users. Intern contributions were writing 20+ behavior scripts utilizing the Selenium, Sikuli, Winium, and Commons Email automation tools and creating a User Guide and set of Sage automation demos. Results: We demonstrated the capabilities of Sage in writing scripts that extract data, send messages, and create maps and assigning behaviors to agents. The impact for the Navy was proving Sage to be an essential tool for test automation and showing how it can be utilized to build a more secure network infrastructure. Next Steps: In the future this work will be able to test the strength of a system. Sage can be used to distribute the automation scripts to many devices or computers and check if certain applications function properly. The corresponding robot scripts used by Sage can report if the tests pass.