MarSOC battalion to take joint command

peefyloo

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http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/09/marine_marsoc_090709w/

MarSOC battalion to take joint command

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command is about to mark another first.

This fall, 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion from Camp Pendleton, Calif., will assume command of a task force responsible for parts of northern and western Afghanistan, overseeing all U.S. spec ops forces in the region.

These task forces oversee any combination of spec ops outfits, including Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Air Force combat controllers and special operations aviation units.

The request came from U.S. Special Operations Command, which is changing the structure and organization of its task forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. SOCom’s plan calls for MarSOC to maintain a spec ops task force, with a battalion headquarters that rotates out every nine months.

MarSOC includes about 2,100 Marines, sailors and civilians. That’s about 500 personnel shy of its authorized end strength, meaning it may be a while before the command can maintain a spec ops task force year-round.

“We’re still building that capacity,” said Col. Dan Masur, Marine Special Operations Regiment commander. “The Army will pick up part of the enduring rotation until we can do a 365-day rotation.”

MarSOC officials hope that will be no more than two years from now, he said.

MarSOC companies have rotated into Afghanistan since 2007. Typically, they have operated under the command of Army task forces.

Masur said this is a natural progression for MarSOC, which stood up at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in February 2006.

“It says a lot for MarSOC,” he said. “It says a lot about the Marine support and SOCom support we’re getting.”

Most of 1st MSOB’s equipment will be MarSOC-owned, he said, but the battalion — commanded by Lt. Col. Jeff Tuggle — will use some gear left by the current task force.

The battalion has prepared for its upcoming deployment as if it’s already commanding joint special operations forces, Masur said. The Marines have been talking to Army spec ops officials about what works and what doesn’t, and looking at other joint spec ops task forces to see how they are structured.

Eventually, MarSOC’s three battalions will have four companies each. Officials won’t specify how many Marines and sailors compose a company, saying only they are smaller than the standard 200-Marine companies in the conventional force.

For the most part, the command has kept two companies at a time in Afghanistan, MarSOC spokesman Maj. Michael Armistead said. Those companies will maintain seven-month deployments, he said
 

Teufel

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I am interested to see how this works out. I don't think MARSOC can sustain a CJSOTF obligation. MARSOC has always wanted to grow too big too fast and this looks to be another case of that. As an aside, the Marine Corps is under the impression that a large chunk of the original players are going to rotate back to the fleet in a year or so, let's see if that's going to happen. That would have big time ramifications for both the recon and MARSOC communities.
 

0699

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I am interested to see how this works out. I don't think MARSOC can sustain a CJSOTF obligation. MARSOC has always wanted to grow too big too fast and this looks to be another case of that. As an aside, the Marine Corps is under the impression that a large chunk of the original players are going to rotate back to the fleet in a year or so, let's see if that's going to happen. That would have big time ramifications for both the recon and MARSOC communities.

This is how I remember it being sold to the Corps. "We can get all this great training using SOCOM dollars, then rotate those guys back to the FMF and get SOCOM to train another group". Even back then, I thought it was redonkulous. How are we going to maintain the same standards as other SOCOM units if we rotate Marines in & out every three years?!?

Does MARSOC now have the infrastructure & backbone (I'm thinking comms mostly; go figure) to run a CJSOTF? From what I understand there's not enough 06XX people (or gear) in the HQs to run a full-fledged site. Meaning they'd have to pull in support from SOCOM or MEF units. Be interesting to see what happens.
 

DA SWO

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This is how I remember it being sold to the Corps. "We can get all this great training using SOCOM dollars, then rotate those guys back to the FMF and get SOCOM to train another group". Even back then, I thought it was redonkulous. How are we going to maintain the same standards as other SOCOM units if we rotate Marines in & out every three years?!?

Does MARSOC now have the infrastructure & backbone (I'm thinking comms mostly; go figure) to run a CJSOTF? From what I understand there's not enough 06XX people (or gear) in the HQs to run a full-fledged site. Meaning they'd have to pull in support from SOCOM or MEF units. Be interesting to see what happens.

Guess that's where the jointness will come in. I wonder if the Marines calculated a loss rate for the guys coming from MarSOC back to the conventional units with there bullshit? I'd love to see that re-enlistment rate.
 

KBAR-04

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Just because they are taking command of a JSOTF does not mean they are going to supply the bulk of the forces for it. I was part of a Navy led CJSOTF in Afghanistan in 2002 and even though we were headed by a USN O-6 and had a SEAL element, the bulk of our forces were provided by 3rd SFG and also our allies.
 
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7point62

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Why would MARSOC Marines want to rotate back to the fleet? Or are they required to do so after so many years like SAS? Does this include enlisted & Os? I can see officers leaving for other assignments and commands as they progress in rank...but if I were MARSOC enlisted there's no way I'd want to go back to the FMF.
 

Teufel

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Why would MARSOC Marines want to rotate back to the fleet? Or are they required to do so after so many years like SAS? Does this include enlisted & Os? I can see officers leaving for other assignments and commands as they progress in rank...but if I were MARSOC enlisted there's no way I'd want to go back to the FMF.

HQMC made an arrangement with SOCOM for all MARSOC Marines to come back to the fleet after a five year rotation. They see it as getting a return on their investment. The Marine Corps tries to do that with guys at oddball billets at the joint level as well. That's how it is supposed to work out in theory, we'll see how it plays out in real life.
 

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HQMC made an arrangement with SOCOM for all MARSOC Marines to come back to the fleet after a five year rotation. They see it as getting a return on their investment. The Marine Corps tries to do that with guys at oddball billets at the joint level as well. That's how it is supposed to work out in theory, we'll see how it plays out in real life.

In the original agreement it was established that some Marines would stay in MARSOC thru-out their Careers. It was also agreed that all MARSOC Marines would be eligible to return to MARSOC after rotating back to the fleet for 1 contract.

Thats why they're setting up the 07XX MOS field, the plan is to track all MARSOC Marines in the FMF & keep them current in training & TTPs.

K.I.M. unlike the other services, w/bases all over the place, Marines operate fr/3 Main Bases w/MSOS Training Dets on both coasts, no unit is going to object to a Marine going TAD fr/time to time for advanced training that he can then share when he gets back.

There is also talk of rotating the MARSOC Marines directly into the Force Recon Companies.
 

Teufel

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In the original agreement it was established that some Marines would stay in MARSOC thru-out their Careers. It was also agreed that all MARSOC Marines would be eligible to return to MARSOC after rotating back to the fleet for 1 contract.

Thats why they're setting up the 07XX MOS field, the plan is to track all MARSOC Marines in the FMF & keep them current in training & TTPs.

K.I.M. unlike the other services, w/bases all over the place, Marines operate fr/3 Main Bases w/MSOS Training Dets on both coasts, no unit is going to object to a Marine going TAD fr/time to time for advanced training that he can then share when he gets back.

There is also talk of rotating the MARSOC Marines directly into the Force Recon Companies.

The 07XX MOS has not been approved yet. There was also talk about making all MARSOC Marines 0321s and that has been shot down. It's hard enough to keep Marines current in TTPS when they are working full time to maintain their proficiency. I don't think units will not let their Marines go TAD to maintain currency if they only have six months to a year to work through their PTP, especially if those Marines are in a leadership billet.

MARSOC Marines will not go back into the Force Recon companies unless they are 0321s and even then they are being screened just like anyone else. MARSOC and Force Recon do not have the same mission and are organized differently. Marines who have joined MSOB without having a reconnaissance background are not necessarily being prepared to conduct reconnaissance missions in support of infantry units.
 

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I don't think units will not let their Marines go TAD to maintain currency if they only have six months to a year to work through their PTP, especially if those Marines are in a leadership billet.

Its going to be a situation of a lesser of 2 evils.

Unless the Corps' hand is forced then the Marines are coming back to the Fleet. Then in order to re-incorporate them back into the MARSOC after their Fleet obligation SOCOM's going to demand they stay current during that time.

I don't think that Fleet unit cmdr is going to have that much say in the matter. They TAD Marines all the time for BS, plus I don't see many Unit having more then a few of these Marines at a time anyway.

Of course they'll find a way to make it less inconvenient on the Fleet cmdrs, but both sides must be appeased at the top, & bar forcing HQMC's hand I don't see how u get around it.

Its going to be a Semper Gumbi situation for the cmdrs in the Fleet.
 

Teufel

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Its going to be a situation of a lesser of 2 evils.

Unless the Corps' hand is forced then the Marines are coming back to the Fleet. Then in order to re-incorporate them back into the MARSOC after their Fleet obligation SOCOM's going to demand they stay current during that time.

I don't think that Fleet unit cmdr is going to have that much say in the matter. They TAD Marines all the time for BS, plus I don't see many Unit having more then a few of these Marines at a time anyway.

Of course they'll find a way to make it less inconvenient on the Fleet cmdrs, but both sides must be appeased at the top, & bar forcing HQMC's hand I don't see how u get around it.

Its going to be a Semper Gumbi situation for the cmdrs in the Fleet.

Go ask SoloKing what happened when SOCOM and big Marine Corps battled over grooming standards. It is pretty much impossible to force HQMC to do anything that HQMC doesn't want to do. For example, SOCOM recommended a Marine to command MARSOC based on his extensive background in special operations. HQMC instead went with someone who would represent HQMC. This is why guys like Col Coates and Col Bristol aren't running MARSOC right now. The Marine Corps sees them as "too SOF" and wants someone in command who will toe the part line.

The fleet unit commanders will do whatever they want. It doesn't matter what SOCOM says, those Marine wont' remain current. What do you define as remaining current? It takes a lot of time and effort to remain current. This is why most 0321s don't leave the fleet. It's not as simple as doing a couple of jumps every couple of months. If the unit commanders are forced to keep their MARSOC Marines "current" they will use their imagination to interpret what that means and their guys won't get much training.
 

Teufel

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Isn't that what the SF suffered through before they got their own MOS/branch? I know the Marine Reconnaissance community suffered from that before 0321 became a primary.
 

JimMCpog

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and MarSoc will suffer in the long run.

They may head to the other branches and try to make it with their special operations forces. I remember reading a report crafted by Naval Special Warfare on diversity, and there was an anecdote about 12% of Special Forces being comprised of former Marines or Navy Corpsmen. I would bet many of them were formerly Force Recon Marines and SARCS. Seeing that this report was from the late 90's, that would be before HQMC made Recon Man a primary MOS.

I also remember reading a Marine Corps Times article about a Marine leaving MSOAG and taking all of his training with him to the Army. He said he was going to try for Special Forces.
 

LongTabSigO

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Just because they are taking command of a JSOTF does not mean they are going to supply the bulk of the forces for it. I was part of a Navy led CJSOTF in Afghanistan in 2002 and even though we were headed by a USN O-6 and had a SEAL element, the bulk of our forces were provided by 3rd SFG and also our allies.

Too Right.

Bottom line is that only the SF Groups are even close to the structure to not only C2 a (C)JSOTF, but provide logistical, comms, and other enabler support.

Everyone wants to command a JSOTF. Very few type units can actually run one.
 

LongTabSigO

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This is how I remember it being sold to the Corps. "We can get all this great training using SOCOM dollars, then rotate those guys back to the FMF and get SOCOM to train another group". Even back then, I thought it was redonkulous. How are we going to maintain the same standards as other SOCOM units if we rotate Marines in & out every three years?!?

MFP-11 was not established as training dollars for the Sea Services.

Does MARSOC now have the infrastructure & backbone (I'm thinking comms mostly; go figure) to run a CJSOTF? From what I understand there's not enough 06XX people (or gear) in the HQs to run a full-fledged site. Meaning they'd have to pull in support from SOCOM or MEF units. Be interesting to see what happens.

Short answer? No. They'd be hard pressed to run a SOTF, much less the full JSOTF package.

It's not just people. It's the whole comms infrastructure. They chose not to invest in that when forming MARSOC. :doh:
 

SCCO_Marine

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MFP-11 was not established as training dollars for the Sea Services.

[QUOTE}Does MARSOC now have the infrastructure & backbone (I'm thinking comms mostly; go figure) to run a CJSOTF? From what I understand there's not enough 06XX people (or gear) in the HQs to run a full-fledged site. Meaning they'd have to pull in support from SOCOM or MEF units. Be interesting to see what happens.

Short answer? No. They'd be hard pressed to run a SOTF, much less the full JSOTF package.

It's not just people. It's the whole comms infrastructure. They chose not to invest in that when forming MARSOC. :doh:

Its not that MarSOC can't run a JSOTF or that they chose not to invest in their comm infrastructure, THEY'RE NOT YET FULLY STAFFED, they're still building.

They're not even required to be Fully Staffed or at Full Mission Capability until 2012 inwhich they are well ahead of.

Since their 1st year in '06 they had to build an organization while being tasked by SOCom to contribute to Operations b/c SOCom was shorthanded. Now their being tasked to run a JSOTF.

To accept this type of responsibility while still building shows the Marines' level of commitment to the success of SOCom's mission & SOCom's confidence in MarSOC.


I don't see how you make the leap fr/ borrowing some support guys b/c they're still building to being incapable of running a Staff or Ops.
 

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Actually there is no mention in the press about MARSOC getting a CJSOTF (O-6) command. They will get a SOTF, Battalion level (O-5) command which concerning Command Control and Commo, seems a relatively smaller and simpler HQ undertaking. And on the first rotation they will be “set up for success” along the way with equipment and experience.

Regarding rotation/retention of MARSOC enlisted personel, forgive me for possibly getting out of my lane but I think that the most feasible way of making things work a little better, is to make MARSOC a more mature organization, with MSGT as Team SNCOs and Gunnery SGTs as smaller element leaders with SSGTs and some SGTs making up the bulk of the Team. This means that comparable positions in HQ elements MSOS etc, should also be raised.

Keep in mind, a 12 man SF Team nominally has a Warrant Officer XO, one MSGT, 5 SFC and 4 SSGTs.

In other words, entry level for Marines should be from 5-6y TIS. This way a SGT entering MARSOC at say the 7th year of service would actually serve just one 3 year tour outside of MARSOC (as a SNCO) until 20 years of service, or 2 tours until 25 years.

Regarding billets, maybe Recon, SOTGs, the new MC Training Advisor Group and possible Security Cooperation MAGTF billets (if the Corps establishes them) with some B-billets like Marine Security Guard Detachment SNCO (all of them have to do either with special skills or with language and cultural awareness) would probably be “acceptable” from operators for an out rotation and also associated with MARSOC skills and keeping current at least partialy.

Just an opinion from an outsider
 

LongTabSigO

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Actually there is no mention in the press about MARSOC getting a CJSOTF (O-6) command. They will get a SOTF, Battalion level (O-5) command which concerning Command Control and Commo, seems a relatively smaller and simpler HQ undertaking. And on the first rotation they will be “set up for success” along the way with equipment and experience.

After I posted, I rechecked and my info is the same - a bn-level operation. Doesn't change my thoughts on it; just focuses the lens a bit more.

Having said that, what I think many miss regarding these Task Forces is that SF units were built with this mission in mind. With relatively little supplement, any SF Battalion HQ is able to take on the SOTF mission; same-same with a Group HQ The other Services (and a lot of ARSOF) chose economy of force (to put it politely) and did not put forces against those missions.

I was once told by an NCO from one of the Sea Services that all you need to run a SOTF was 2 TAC-Sat radios, claiming that "you Army guys way-overthink this whole C2 thing". :doh: I was hoping he was just yanking my chain, but he was dead serious. :(
 
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