New units to assume Special Forces mission

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Boondocksaint375

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New units to assume Special Forces mission


By Kimberly Johnson - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 29, 2008 13:39:12 EST
The Corps’ new conceptual, pre-emptive strike force will take on general-purpose advisory roles that are now tasked to Army Special Forces units, freeing up the elite fighters for other missions, according to a Marine official.
The plan to create Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, which Commandant Gen. James Conway signed off on the week of Jan. 28, is part of the service’s strategy for handling the “long war” beyond Iraq and Afghanistan and getting Marines back aboard ships.
The new SCMAGTF units will be considered “eyes forward” for the U.S. military, and will assist partner nations with military training and civil-military operations, according to a briefing document explaining the plan. They will be made up of ground, logistics and aviation combat elements, and will resemble a Marine Expeditionary Unit, but will work on land instead of the sea.
While the SCMAGTFs will take on general-purpose military advisory roles similar to those assumed by Special Forces, they will not be assuming special operations training missions, said Col. Robert Abbott, head of the plans section within the Plans, Policies and Operations division at Marine Corps headquarters.
Some aspects of the SCMAGTF training missions will be similar to those of special operations forces, such as the Army’s Green Berets and the Marine Special Operations Advisor Group. They will help advise foreign militaries, Abbott said in an e-mail, “but the advisory missions that are conducted by [special operations forces] generally tend to be more complex and reflecting capabilities that exceed the capacity of general-purpose forces to perform,” he said.
The Corps’ current commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, have hamstrung the service from moving forward on the plan. The strategy will not likely be fully realized for at least five years, and is dependent upon a drawdown in Iraq, Abbott said by phone.
“Currently, nearly everything we have is committed toward the Central Command and the war in Iraq,” he said.
But it is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — putting a strain on both general and special-purpose forces available to do such work — that have created the need for the SCMAGTFs, he said.
Creation of the new unit does not mean special operations forces aren’t able to handle the training missions, but instead indicates some can be handed off to general-purpose forces, Abbott said. In doing so, it gives the elite forces more operational flexibility for those missions that only they can perform, he said.
“The demand for forces coming from regional combatant commanders to conduct security-cooperation activities currently exceeds the forces available to support all the missions,” he said.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2008/02/marine_scmagtf_022908/
 

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phridum

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Oh goody! The Marines get to do what they were created to do again, and the other branches can go back to doing their job by themselves!

Nothing to put down on other branches, but every branch has a role and it just seems like management got in over their head with wars on two (well, between two and ten) fronts. I just remembered learning history and missions and organization in training and then quickly learned, "We don't do that stuff anymore."

Will almost make it a new Marine Corps as far as the guys that have gotten in within the last 6 years. I never even got the chance to go on a float. Who gets assigned to Camp Pendleton and doesn't see Australia or the Philippines? Sigh...
 
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irnbndr

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Irregular warfare is all the rage! Not long ago SF was the bastard child of the military, now everyone wants some of the mission. The 2006 Quarterly Defense Review is a good example of how higher command authorties are now subscribing to the methods formerly organic to SF exclusively.
It is not a bad thing by any means. My concern is that the inner workings of COIN, FID and UW (to name a few) will not receive enough attention. Constant study of the art of irregular warfare is needed to truly be an effective player. The entire team must be on board and have the critical thinking skills to truly be effective. To simply train, lead and advise is not enough.
There are few soldiers as motivated as Marines in our military, therefor they would be the best alternative for the mission. Nevertheless, careful consideration of each individual's ability to comprehend this vital role is paramount to the success of introducing them to this vital duty.
 

tigerstr

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SC MAGTF details, MCTAG and the Long War concept

The Marine Corps has developed a whole new concept for Irregular Warfare and “expeditionary” Security Cooperation capabilities. They are building TWO new formations to implement it and are giving a lot of emphasis on language-cultural training.

For anyone interested, the new operating concept for the Long War also called “Send in The Marines” can be found here, at smallwarsjournal.com with lots of information about the SC MAGTF, the way they will be built and employed, the regions involved, plus the new Marine Corps Training and Advisor Group (MCTAG).

All this is in addition to the MARSOC Marine Special Operations Advisory Group capabilities.

Interesting thing is, Regiments and Battalions slated for SC MAGTFs (three of them are planned which I imagine means 9 Bats rotating) will have a “regional focus” and lots of associated training, including standard language and culture training for E-5 and above.

Couple this with the small unit training/equipment associated with the “Distributed Operations” concept and it seems the Corps is currently aiming at capabilities that up to now (for the last three decades) where more or less exclusively in “SOF territory”.
 
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Simmerin' SigO

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I never intend to demean the Marine Corps, but a bit of intellectual honesty is necessary. The Marines do have a "small wars" pedigree. But the fact is that, for the longest time, they wanted no real part of SOF. The Marines go where the money is. They wouldn't be in SOF if there wasn't a perceived "future" in this type of operations. Couple this with a world-class Public Relations machine, and you have a completely different story.

They had the opportunity to join the fray 20 yrs ago. They refused. So the hard work of building the mission set, professionalizing the force, updating the doctrine, developing the C2 infrastructure, etc was done by others. Now they want "their share". To be fair, the signs are that this new Marine SOC is doing things right to create an excellent force. But they have the advantage of not having the costs associated with creating a cogent SOF capability and all of the benefits of 20 yrs of SOF experience.

By the way, the Marine FID units (I think they are currently called the MSOAGs) have done great things. No argument. But the MSOBs are just ranger units. Nothing particularly unique. MARSOC has no capability to operate JSOTFs in their current organizational model. So, they don't have to do the hard part of SOF C2 at the operational level.

If there's an updated command brief that refutes this, please send it along.
 

Rabid Badger

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I never intend to demean the Marine Corps, but a bit of intellectual honesty is necessary. The Marines do have a "small wars" pedigree. But the fact is that, for the longest time, they wanted no real part of SOF. The Marines go where the money is. They wouldn't be in SOF if there wasn't a perceived "future" in this type of operations. Couple this with a world-class Public Relations machine, and you have a completely different story.

They had the opportunity to join the fray 20 yrs ago. They refused. So the hard work of building the mission set, professionalizing the force, updating the doctrine, developing the C2 infrastructure, etc was done by others. Now they want "their share". To be fair, the signs are that this new Marine SOC is doing things right to create an excellent force. But they have the advantage of not having the costs associated with creating a cogent SOF capability and all of the benefits of 20 yrs of SOF experience.

By the way, the Marine FID units (I think they are currently called the MSOAGs) have done great things. No argument. But the MSOBs are just ranger units. Nothing particularly unique. MARSOC has no capability to operate JSOTFs in their current organizational model. So, they don't have to do the hard part of SOF C2 at the operational level.

If there's an updated command brief that refutes this, please send it along.

Agree with the 'don't mean to demean'...that said.....This stands out:

They wouldn't be in SOF if there wasn't a perceived "future" in this type of operations. Couple this with a world-class Public Relations machine, and you have a completely different story.

And it only took them 8 years into the 21st Century to figure that out....

(Grabbing my kevlar umbrella and running for the bunker now while screaming 'But I love you guyz'!!!!)

:confused::confused:;);)
 

tigerstr

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But the fact is that, for the longest time, they wanted no real part of SOF. The Marines go where the money is. They wouldn't be in SOF if there wasn't a perceived "future" in this type of operations....
-------------------------
.... But the MSOBs are just ranger units. Nothing particularly unique. MARSOC has no capability to operate JSOTFs in their current organizational model. So, they don't have to do the hard part of SOF C2 at the operational level.

If there's an updated command brief that refutes this, please send it along.

Well, it can be argued that what USSOCOM (or the civilian leadership of DOD for that matter) wanted from the Marines in the first place, was added “capacity”, in terms of manpower that can be used for Special Operations, and not some kind of new unique capability.

Besides money (which always is a big factor for every Service worldwide), it can also be argued that Marines agreed to jump in the wagon, because they understood (in Afghanistan) that otherwise they would be excluded from proliferating SOF missions.

I am not sure they like much being in USSOCOM even now… It’s a matter of “Marine Culture” and the fact that they have a unique standing that makes them always very sensitive about the future “relevance” of the Corps

On the other hand comparing now Marine Special Operation Companies and Battalions to Ranger units, doesn’t seem right.

At first a MSOC was a combination of a DA/SR platoon (made up exclusively from Force Recon personnel, a closer comparison to SEALs than Rangers) and a security Platoon comprised of infantry MOSs with extra training, plus an enabler detachment of about 20 men) with Intel, Signal, EOD, Fire Control and other support capabilities. All in all, about 110-120 men.

This (the two different platoon combination) was a derivative of the Maritime Special Purpose Force, which was/is part of the MEU (SOC) concept. Somebody thought it could be a permanent “unit” concept in MARSOC, and probably was very wrong.

But, MSOCs gave up already the Security Platoons and are reorganizing in 14man Teams, (led by a Captain) plus the enabler detachment, for 80-90 men total .
If you take a look at the way things are going, it seems MARSOC will be in the future, something like a “cross” between Special Forces and SEALs, regarding training and capabilities, probably closer to SF.

Right now a MSOC looks on paper much like a Naval Special Warfare Task Unit, but the Marines argue that they have much more experience/capabilities” with Intel, Sigint and other “high demand low density” elements needed for “task organizing” in SOF, than the Navy does.

This notwithstanding, Marines admitted having problems with the first MSOC deployed to Afghanistan, especially in combat service support and logistics.

But first tries have their problems and I imagine there is no reason to assume that a MSOC will have trouble integrating in a JSOTF the way a NSWTU or other SOF unit does, after some inevitable glitches are taken care of.

After all they do have a lot of experience in task organizing (MAGTFs etc)

Regarding C2 and JSOTFs, what the Marines are saying is that MSOB staff (and higher echelons) can “battle roster” if it is needed to set-up a deployed HQ at higher levels. But not much is known about the way a MSOB (or MARSOC) staff is organized and if they have accumulated relevant experience.

NO new open source Command Briefs available, as far as I know.
 

Hitman2/3

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But the MSOBs are just ranger units. Nothing particularly unique. MARSOC has no capability to operate JSOTFs in their current organizational model.

Don't know where you're getting your information from, but I don't believe I would compare the training, capabilities, or mission of an MSOB team to a Ranger unit. Just saying. :)
 
S

Simmerin' SigO

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Don't know where you're getting your information from, but I don't believe I would compare the training, capabilities, or mission of an MSOB team to a Ranger unit. Just saying. :)

notice the "small 'r' " for 'ranger unit'. i specifically didn't say they were a Ranger Battalion or battalion-like.
 
S

Simmerin' SigO

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Right now a MSOC looks on paper much like a Naval Special Warfare Task Unit, but the Marines argue that they have much more experience/capabilities” with Intel, Sigint and other “high demand low density” elements needed for “task organizing” in SOF, than the Navy does.

This notwithstanding, Marines admitted having problems with the first MSOC deployed to Afghanistan, especially in combat service support and logistics.

I'd agree with the Marine position, insofar as they can reachback to get ground force multipliers that the Navy can't (at least not until Navy Expeditionary Combat Command is at full speed).

But first tries have their problems and I imagine there is no reason to assume that a MSOC will have trouble integrating in a JSOTF the way a NSWTU or other SOF unit does, after some inevitable glitches are taken care of. After all they do have a lot of experience in task organizing (MAGTFs etc)

Integrating a Company into a JSOTF/SOTF as a component? I would agree. Running a JSOTF? Not happening in their current configuration.


Regarding C2 and JSOTFs, what the Marines are saying is that MSOB staff (and higher echelons) can “battle roster” if it is needed to set-up a deployed HQ at higher levels. But not much is known about the way a MSOB (or MARSOC) staff is organized and if they have accumulated relevant experience.

No they can't. SF Battalions struggle to do so and their experience level is huge. JSOTF is a tough thing to do. SF Groups can do it because they've adapted their force structure to support it. No one else is even close.
 

tigerstr

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No they can't. SF Battalions struggle to do so and their experience level is huge. JSOTF is a tough thing to do. SF Groups can do it because they've adapted their force structure to support it. No one else is even close.

Well, I can’t dispute this, but I have two rational questions

a) How are the Marines going to get the experience (the way SF did) if they don’t try and

b) How do we know if they have adapted or are now adapting their force structure (at the MSOB level) to do that, or not?

Anyway, if you don’t mind an opinion, I think the whole idea that Marines are trying to duplicate or replace Special Forces, (admittedly some statements made by MC brass made an impression) is creating some sort of "SOF contest" to an extent that for me, an outsider, does not make much sense.

Considering the fact there is a war going on.

By the way, even the Marine Corps Times title, "New units to assume Special Forces mission" is very dubious (and a bit inflammatory for the SF community) since the details of the SC MAGTF concept specifically point out that it will NOT have SOF missions or train third nations SOF, but "some limited Special Operations capability”, in case it is needed.
 

Rabid Badger

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Well, I can’t dispute this, but I have two rational questions

a) How are the Marines going to get the experience (the way SF did) if they don’t try and

b) How do we know if they have adapted or are now adapting their force structure (at the MSOB level) to do that, or not?

Anyway, if you don’t mind an opinion, I think the whole idea that Marines are trying to duplicate or replace Special Forces, (admittedly some statements made by MC brass made an impression) is creating some sort of "SOF contest" to an extent that for me, an outsider, does not make much sense.

Considering the fact there is a war going on.

By the way, even the Marine Corps Times title, "New units to assume Special Forces mission" is very dubious (and a bit inflammatory for the SF community) since the details of the SC MAGTF concept specifically point out that it will NOT have SOF missions or train third nations SOF, but "some limited Special Operations capability”, in case it is needed.

Me, personally, being an SOF GB and an 'insider' don't see it as a contest. I'm of the force muliplier variety in that working IN CONJUCTION WITH SOF, MARSOC will recruit more soldiers with the 'high speed' acronym 'SOF' attached to the recruiting drive.

a) How are the Marines going to get the experience (the way SF did) if they don’t try

[They are welcome to try, are trying, and are still in the developement stage]

b) How do we know if they have adapted or are now adapting their force structure (at the MSOB level) to do that, or not?

[The recruitment drive is barely off the ground, not enough time for adapting anything, and they will adapt as the timing is necessary or the recruitment numbers are too low.]

When are you gonna come on over, get your US citizenship, and join the SOF community?? The time is now, there is a war on, after all.....

:2c:
 

Rabid Badger

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Never worked with any Greek SOF guys but spent some time around the Hellenic Force in Kabul. Nice guys, major language barrier; didn't learn much. ;)


Does Greece have an SOF?? Gonna have to research that one!!

How was the Hellenic force for training, soldiering?? ;)
 

RackMaster

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Does Greece have an SOF?? Gonna have to research that one!!

How was the Hellenic force for training, soldiering?? ;)

:uhh::rolleyes: I was more worried about there preoccupation to look at my guys than the girl that was on my team. :doh: Other than that, they made great gate guards and can serve up a mean cup of Turkish coffee. :D
 
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