COPs or Soldiers?

Spider6

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Marine Corps Creates Law Enforcement Battalions

http://www.military.com/daily-news/...ent-battalions.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=3

"Marines have been increasingly taking on the role of a street cop along with their combat duties over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been in charge of training both countries' security forces. Those skills now can be used as a permanent part of the Marine Corps, Durham said."

This is a question that I have been struggling with for a few years now. While deployed I could not help but think that the service was acting more and more like a police department. I served for 5 years with Atlanta PD and some of the observations I noted were:

  • A 15-6 was conducted every time we sent a round downrange. Similiar in nature to a use of force report if you had to use your baton, OC spray or weapon
  • Site exploitation kits: I have reason to believe that just about everyone hear at least knows what these are. But they are very similiar to the fingerprint kits I carry on patrol back home.
  • ROE = RUF: The ROE in theatre was very similiar if not idenitical to what we were taught at the academy on the escalating / deescalating later of force.
  • A LTC told my MCCC class that his big "actualization" moment during his last deployment was that he learned that he could control several different assets using his cell phone and radio. Well I'm sure a lot of cops will argue we do that on a daily basis.
Attached is the article "The Military's New Hybrid Warriors". The author does a good job of describing the "debate" that I have heard at Fort Benning and Fort Leavenworth. The main argument of course is that by training these COIN skills to a generation of junior leaders we have degraded our ability to conduct conventional warfare. Manuever or combined arms if you will. COL Gian Gentile goes so far as to say our division and brigades would have a difficult time if they were told suddenly to pick up and attack into Iran.

Of course the question is what do we do now? My position is that we return to the basics and train our units on traditional combat skills in order to allow for maximum flexibility. Fighting and winning wars is what we're here to do after all.

Any thoughts, questions, feedback of course would be invaluable.


 

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RetPara

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This is the codification of a whole different set of TTP's that have been adopted from LE sources. One of the lessons going back to the Mau Mau insurgency in Africa is that LE TTP's can be cross applied. This really came to the fore front in Iraq when Reservists and NG troops, that in real life were LE specializing in gang issues, began to apply their TTP's against the insurgents. That is where the current Biometrics efforts come from.

The Marine Corps is nothing else, but agile in adapting to changes in the political, warfare, and tactical environment. The best documentation for that is development and utilization of the presentation "From The Sea...." in the 1990's which modernized the Corps expeditionary nature and ability to park a force on or just over the horizon from a developing crisis location.

The Marine LE Battalions bring together the separate MP companies under a Battalion for the first time in my memory. This enables the Corps to maintain (at least for a time) the lessons learned in the new TTP's for counter insurgency. This also will enable the Corps to maintain a trainer cadre for future banana republic conflicts or humanitarian missions.

The question I have to wonder if this is a case of fighting the last war; or an economy of force move that will looking cutting edge, while the rest of the Corps trains for more traditional Marine missions.
 

Spider6

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Agree completely....I had about 20 cops and 2 Federal agents in my company alone. That gave us a lot credibility. And the statement I have heard most often is "are we fighting the last war?"
 

AWP

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While COL Gentile's statement MAY be accurate, he is also an idiot as far as I'm concerned in that he doesn't believe in COIN so I have to wonder if his bias is showing through in his remarks.
 

0699

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This is the codification of a whole different set of TTP's that have been adopted from LE sources. One of the lessons going back to the Mau Mau insurgency in Africa is that LE TTP's can be cross applied. This really came to the fore front in Iraq when Reservists and NG troops, that in real life were LE specializing in gang issues, began to apply their TTP's against the insurgents. That is where the current Biometrics efforts come from.

The Marine Corps is nothing else, but agile in adapting to changes in the political, warfare, and tactical environment. The best documentation for that is development and utilization of the presentation "From The Sea...." in the 1990's which modernized the Corps expeditionary nature and ability to park a force on or just over the horizon from a developing crisis location.

The Marine LE Battalions bring together the separate MP companies under a Battalion for the first time in my memory. This enables the Corps to maintain (at least for a time) the lessons learned in the new TTP's for counter insurgency. This also will enable the Corps to maintain a trainer cadre for future banana republic conflicts or humanitarian missions.

The question I have to wonder if this is a case of fighting the last war; or an economy of force move that will looking cutting edge, while the rest of the Corps trains for more traditional Marine missions.

USMC MP battalions existed back in the 90s and all MPs in a MEF (including Base Provost Marshal, Div/FSSG/MAW MP Cos) were put into one unit. The idea was that the MEF commander would have a single-source for all LE services and he could task as required. Problem was there were too many missions and too many bosses. IMO they only served to provide command/staff billets for senior MP officers, but I believe that whenever command consolidations happen. :ninja:
 

Marauder06

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This was a good, thought-provoking post Spider6.
Marine Corps Creates Law Enforcement Battalions
http://www.military.com/daily-news/...ent-battalions.html?comp=7000023317843&rank=3

"Marines have been increasingly taking on the role of a street cop along with their combat duties over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been in charge of training both countries' security forces. Those skills now can be used as a permanent part of the Marine Corps, Durham said."

This is a question that I have been struggling with for a few years now. While deployed I could not help but think that the service was acting more and more like a police department. I served for 5 years with Atlanta PD and some of the observations I noted were:

  • A 15-6 was conducted every time we sent a round downrange. Similiar in nature to a use of force report if you had to use your baton, OC spray or weapon
  • Site exploitation kits: I have reason to believe that just about everyone hear at least knows what these are. But they are very similiar to the fingerprint kits I carry on patrol back home.
  • ROE = RUF: The ROE in theatre was very similiar if not idenitical to what we were taught at the academy on the escalating / deescalating later of force.
That all makes sense, best practices tend to crosslevel over time, and in many circumstances "security is security" so yeah, it doesn't surprise me a bit that law enforcement and military operations sometimes overlap.
  • A LTC told my MCCC class that his big "actualization" moment during his last deployment was that he learned that he could control several different assets using his cell phone and radio. Well I'm sure a lot of cops will argue we do that on a daily basis.
I'd like to think that that kind of "actualization" takes place much earlier in an officer's career, like in pre-commissioning. ;)
Attached is the article "The Military's New Hybrid Warriors". The author does a good job of describing the "debate" that I have heard at Fort Benning and Fort Leavenworth. The main argument of course is that by training these COIN skills to a generation of junior leaders we have degraded our ability to conduct conventional warfare. Manuever or combined arms if you will. COL Gian Gentile goes so far as to say our division and brigades would have a difficult time if they were told suddenly to pick up and attack into Iran.

Of course they would. They would have a difficult time doing anything on that scale "suddenly." This stuff is not easy, and we're a little busy right now. At the same time, last I checked we're in the middle of two counterinsurgencies, so yeah, I think that's where we need to focus our training effort. Do you have a link to exactly what it was COL Gentile said? I want to see it in context.

Of course the question is what do we do now? My position is that we return to the basics and train our units on traditional combat skills in order to allow for maximum flexibility. Fighting and winning wars is what we're here to do after all.

Any thoughts, questions, feedback of course would be invaluable.

Short-duration, high intensity conflict is easy for us. Especially against second-rate militaries, including Iran. It's what comes AFTER that is so bedeviling. What is it exactly that COL Gentile thinks our brigades are going to have problems with? The Iranian military? Please. It's fighting the religiously-based insurgency that happens AFTER we crush their navy, their air force, and their armored formations that is going to cause problems. Just like it did in Iraq and Afghanistan. So many that's the stuff we need to (continue to) train on. I can think of no scenario in which we would send massed brigades on the ground into Iran... UNLESS it's part of a post-war humanitarian relief mission. Just like in Syria. So what kind of training is going to be better in that kind of scenario, the stuff we're doing now, or training up to fight armored hordes that only exist in Krasnovian doctrine?

What is it that people are expecting a war with Iran to look like? Does COL Gentile or anyone else really think that we're going to occupy another Muslim country, now?:hmm: We are FAR to risk-averse as a nation to go traipsing into another bloody money pit in the Middle East.


While COL Gentile's statement MAY be accurate, he is also an idiot as far as I'm concerned in that he doesn't believe in COIN so I have to wonder if his bias is showing through in his remarks.


I didn't see the exact quote, but COL Gentile is a bonafide COIN hater whose personal biases tend to creep in to what he publishes. I also know from firsthand experience that on at least on occasion he fired from the hip after doing zero research on a topic, because what he "thought" the story was fit into his personal agenda. So keep that in mind, too. That said, he seems to be a smart enough guy, and he does have some legit "street cred" in terms of military service, so that should be considered also.
 

Spider6

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Thanks all for the feedback....I only had the article that I attached for the quote from COL Gentile. Truth be told I had never heard of him before.

My personal opinion is that all wars include some measure of conventional and unconventional "engagements". Unless my history is very hazy Roman Legions were dealing with this in ancient Britain. Therefore I don't think this is anything new.

That being I said I believe we already have the right tools in the tool box.

I might be feasible to work doctrine in such a way the stipulates that Regular Army forces kick in the door and quash the conventional force with National Guard units or the above mentioned MP units coming close behind to begin COIN operations as soon as possible.

USMC MP battalions existed back in the 90s and all MPs in a MEF (including Base Provost Marshal, Div/FSSG/MAW MP Cos) were put into one unit. The idea was that the MEF commander would have a single-source for all LE services and he could task as required. Problem was there were too many missions and too many bosses. IMO they only served to provide command/staff billets for senior MP officers, but I believe that whenever command consolidations happen. :ninja:

Agree completely. I'm glad they formed MP Battalions as opposed to restructuring training for the Infantry. IMHO that would add too many missions to the "menu". Can they do it absolutely. But they won't be proficient in all of them.

On the flip side the Marine Corps has been fighting little wars for a while.

In short I believe we have all the right tools already. Its just a matter of getting the right task/org for the mission.

Thanks again
 

AWP

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I might be feasible to work doctrine in such a way the stipulates that Regular Army forces kick in the door and quash the conventional force with National Guard units or the above mentioned MP units coming close behind to begin COIN operations as soon as possible.

I'd go so far as to advocate COIN units or COIN-designated units. Take your light units in the Guard like Florida's 53rd BCT and the 29th Division (and the others out there) along with the 10th Mountain and have them devote their training to operating in a COIN environment; this allows our heavy forces to concentrate on what they do best and COIN is not it.

This is all assuming that we won't pursue COIN the way we intended by sending in SF teams and letting them do what they were founded to do.

A smaller, more intelligent footprint in a place like Afghanistan wouldn't have been affected by Iraq. Iraq killed Afghanistan.
 

Spider6

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I'd go so far as to advocate COIN units or COIN-designated units. Take your light units in the Guard like Florida's 53rd BCT and the 29th Division (and the others out there) along with the 10th Mountain and have them devote their training to operating in a COIN environment; this allows our heavy forces to concentrate on what they do best and COIN is not it.

This is all assuming that we won't pursue COIN the way we intended by sending in SF teams and letting them do what they were founded to do.

A smaller, more intelligent footprint in a place like Afghanistan wouldn't have been affected by Iraq. Iraq killed Afghanistan.

Good point.....on that first one a lot of National Guard Infantry Brigades are light now......down here in the soveign State of Georgia it's almost a career path to join the Infantry serve for a few years then become an LEO. And it goes without saying that a lot of Marines do the same.

Guard units have started adding to the their battle rosters what their personnel do on the civilian side. This was brought about from conducting link ups with the FEMA Area or Incident Commander. The first thing they want to see is your credentials. From my point of view the Guard as a whole seems to becoming more engaged in DSCA. As evident of the formation of the Homeland Response Forces.

I would like to see Regular Army commanders taking the time to listen to a capabilities brief with us providing a roster of what our guys are qualified to do back home. I think this will enable all commanders to leverage the skill sets in their units.
 

Spider6

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This is the codification of a whole different set of TTP's that have been adopted from LE sources. One of the lessons going back to the Mau Mau insurgency in Africa is that LE TTP's can be cross applied. This really came to the fore front in Iraq when Reservists and NG troops, that in real life were LE specializing in gang issues, began to apply their TTP's against the insurgents. That is where the current Biometrics efforts come from.

The Marine Corps is nothing else, but agile in adapting to changes in the political, warfare, and tactical environment. The best documentation for that is development and utilization of the presentation "From The Sea...." in the 1990's which modernized the Corps expeditionary nature and ability to park a force on or just over the horizon from a developing crisis location.

The Marine LE Battalions bring together the separate MP companies under a Battalion for the first time in my memory. This enables the Corps to maintain (at least for a time) the lessons learned in the new TTP's for counter insurgency. This also will enable the Corps to maintain a trainer cadre for future banana republic conflicts or humanitarian missions.

The question I have to wonder if this is a case of fighting the last war; or an economy of force move that will looking cutting edge, while the rest of the Corps trains for more traditional Marine missions.

I should have asked you this earlier but just to clarify....the Marine Corps consolidated MP companies to form MP Battalions? Reason I ask is the Georgia Guard did the same thing a few years back and the battalion in my opinion is still struggling to find its identity. The MP Companies were independant forever and there's a sense that the Soldiers still identify themselves more so with the company than the battalion. Great folks all round but still struggling to get on the same page.
 

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Standards. That's the issue with separate companies and battalions. The unit of maneuver is often the Regimental or Brigade Combat Team. Fitting separate companies into a Bde organization is more difficult because separate companies will tend to drift into their own way of doing things that can only be loosed based on Army standards.
 

Spider6

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Roger that....other issues we're having is the companies deploy by themselves. Even the staff deployed on its own. The other one is each company focus' on a different MP function.
 
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