Navy and Marine Forces Center

Marines debark a U.S. Navy Osprey

Photo by Daniel Barker/U.S. Navy

The Navy and Marine Forces Center (NMF) helps the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), allied maritime and amphibious forces, and other clients manage acquisition, sustainment, personnel, force development, and strategy issues. Employing a range of analytical approaches— including cost-effectiveness analyses, risk assessments, technology surveys, industrial base reviews, and personnel and operational evaluations—NMF investigates personnel readiness, power projection, and expeditionary operations; platform and system costs; interoperability demands; logistics, technology, and industrial capabilities; and Marine force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Latest Publications

  • Approaches to Strategic Sealift Readiness 2019

    Bradley Martin, Roland J. Yardley

    To move military cargo, the U.S. military uses the strategic sealift fleet, which must be maintained to a certain level of readiness. The authors addressed six questions that examine the readiness of the fleet and its management. They determined that many factors — including organizational management, requirements determination, and material and personnel readiness — can be improved to increase readiness and make recommendations toward that end.

  • Next-Generation Wargaming for the U.S. Marine Corps: Recommended Courses of Action 2019

    Yuna Huh Wong, Sebastian Joon Bae, Elizabeth M. Bartels, Benjamin Smith

    This report describes an evaluation of the utility of different wargaming tools as the U.S. Marine Corps invests in its wargaming capability and in building its next-generation wargaming concept. The authors have collected information on wargaming processes, facilities, and skill sets through research and interviews at various wargaming centers. They make recommendations for low-, medium-, and high-resourced courses of action.

Get updates on RAND's work on National Security and Terrorism

Research Focus Areas

Shipbuilding, Maintenance, Logistics, and Sustainment

NMF evaluates competition, management, and workforce issues facing shipbuilders and ship maintainers. Our research—on cost trends and estimating techniques, production and workforce management, risk controls, contracting, inventory management, facilities planning, process improvements, and related factors—helps U.S. and allied leaders control costs and hedge against risk. NMF guidance also helps improve the readiness, efficiency, and reliability of USMC logistics operations in highly fluid situations.

Force Employment in Naval and Amphibious Expeditionary Operations

NMF analyzes options for future amphibious shipping, for using auxiliary ships in crisis response missions, and for supporting amphibious operations with expeditionary ground reconnaissance teams. Our expertise in information architectures and networks, software services, information assurance, remotely piloted vehicles, and C4ISR modeling helps commanders make better operational and tactical decisions.

Marine Corps Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Marine Corps forces need to tailor intelligence efforts to meet evolving demands. NMF supports the USMC's Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Enterprise with wargaming, analysis, and research assistance.


To support system acquisition, NMF researchers conduct analyses of alternatives, evaluate system costs, and explore technical and programmatic risks. Analysts sort through requirement priorities, develop concepts of operation, and model and evaluate system performance across numerous operational settings.

Navy and Marine Corps Personnel Readiness

NMF teams assess the Navy's and USMC's personnel readiness, measurement methods, diversity programs, training infrastructures, and unit and individual training— all through quantitative and qualitative analyses.