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Thread: The Marine Corps and the FID Mission?

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    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    Default Mctag

    Does anyone know exactly how this organization is going to work? Will newly formed TTs train or undergo instruction in Virginia? Will ATG (Advisor Training Group) in 29 Palms be moved/combined with MCTAG?

    If so, I'm definitely going to start looking at this as a B billet. I'm loving the advising job so far, and hope to get another TT deployment before moving to a B billet. (IF I can convince the wife)

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    Council Member Boot's Avatar
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    Default I have orders there...

    PM me for a direct e-mail contact.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-22-2008 at 03:32 AM.

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    Default Mctag

    I am currently on a MTT over in Iraq. I to do love the advisor mission and hoping greatly to get orders with MCTAG. Also having to work to convince my wife.

    From my understanding, I believe MCTAG is another way for the Marine Corps to take on the FID mission. Considering the Marine Corps has no control over MSOAG. It gives us, as advisors to have a parent command instead of pulling Marines from their units. The location of MCTAG in Va I believe will be a great location for MCTAG. Away from big mother Marine Corps. Giving the teams more independent training.

    I believe this will be a success for the Marine Corps. If the right people fill the billets. People who understand "the basics" , who are mature, and can adapt quickly.

    s/f
    Buzzsaw

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    Default The Marine Corps and the FID Mission?

    I would like to hear eveyones thoughts on how they feel about the Marine Corps pursuing the FID/Advisor mission?

    Please...send your thoughts.


    s/f
    Buzzsaw
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-09-2008 at 08:30 PM.

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    I think that you are going to see a lot of motion on this issue in the upcoming months. The idea of turning the USMC into the nation's expeditionary force while the Army assumes the role of "reserve of last resort" is not new.

    The upcoming debate will consist of two major components -- 1. the Army trying to decide who it is (watch personnel changes and statements at the top) and 2. USMC deciding how much it can/should handle and what additional resources it will need to be successful.

    Think this forum is a ringside seat.

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    Council Member max161's Avatar
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    Default The FID Mission and all the Services

    Before we get into the debate I would like to provide a perspective:

    1) By law (Title 10) FID is a SOF core mission.
    2) However, by Joint doctrine all services are responsible for providing forces trained and ready to conduct and support FID.

    There is some inter-service parochialism out there and some fear the Marines are horning on a traditional SOF mission. A few points about that.

    The Army and the Marines and to a lesser extent (but no less important) the Navy and the Air Force have a long history of conducting operations that fall into the FID category (especially when we understand FID doctrine - all the services have contributed extensively to Indirect FID with their security assistance programs, their military to military partnerships, mobile training teams, combined training exericses (e.g., REFORGER, Cobra Gold, Bright Star, Team Spirit, Balikatan, Cabanas, Foal Eagle, just to name a few) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) which nearly all the service schools contribute to). SOF participates in those areas but has been employed to a greater extent in Direct FID and Combat FID (though again, the Army and the Marines are now heavily engaged in Combat FID in Iraq and Afghanistan as is SOF) while SOF continues to contribute to Direct FID around the world in Africa (JTF HOA and OEF-Trans-Sahal), Central and South America (e.g., Colombia and OEF - CCA) and Asia (e.g., OEF-P in The Philippines).

    While some will say that the new Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARFORSOC) will take away missions from Special Forces I say that is bunk. First, there is going to be enough work for everyone for a long time to come. While SOF in general and Special Forces in particular will be able to handle most of the Direct FID operations outside of OIF and OEF Afghanistan all the services will need to contribute to Indirect FID as they always have and hopefully (if we ever see authorities change) they will to an even greater extent. But when we compare MARFORSOC to USASOC we should remember that even when they are fully operational capable they will only be 1% the size of USASOC and less than 2% the size of Special Forces. They are not going to replace Special Forces but they will be able to add to our nation's Special Operations capabilities.

    In addition, I am glad to see that this discussion is about FID. I have heard some of the new COIN experts and Security Forces Assistance aficionados say that FID is an outdated doctrine and no longer relevant since it is a Cold War paradigm. To which I say again that is bunk. SFA, COIN, Train, Advise and Assist are all natural subsets of FID. And by the way, FID doctrine also clearly states that it is more than a military approach, it has to be interagency. The problem goes back to my first point above - by law SOF is a core mission and because of that most people have blown off reading FID doctrine and we have all these COIN entrepreneurs out there developing new terminology and organizations and in my (hopefully) humble opinion we are wasting a lot of intellectual time and energy trying to create new things rather than applying what has already been proven and perhaps just updating and tweaking the good existing doctrine (some have argued that since FID doctrine does not account for 1206 and 1207 funding authorities it is no longer relevant and that Security Force Assistance must replace it – again, I say that is bunk, just add 1206 and 1207 funding authority definitions (or whatever the new term is in the FY 08 legislation) to the existing FID doctrine and get on with business). Again, just because FID is a SOF core mission does negate the fact that all services have a role in FID and I am happy to see the Marine Corps taking it on responsibly.
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I broadly agree with what you say. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by max161 View Post
    Before we get into the debate I would like to provide a perspective:

    1) By law (Title 10) FID is a SOF core mission.
    that is true but, specifically:

    ""[10 USC A.I.167.](j) Special Operations Activities.--For purposes of this section,
    special operations activities include each of the following insofar as
    it relates to special operations:
    (emphasis added / kw)
    (1) Direct action.
    (2) Strategic reconnaissance.
    (3) Unconventional warfare.
    (4) Foreign internal defense.
    (5) Civil affairs.
    (6) Psychological operations.
    (7) Counterterrorism.
    (8) Humanitarian assistance.
    (9) Theater search and rescue.
    (10) Such other activities as may be specified by the President
    or the Secretary of Defense.""


    That is not to be a nit picker but to make the point that FID, as you say is a total government activity; that SOCOM has FID as a core activity insofar as it pertains to Special Operations -- but that all the services have a co-equal to SOCOM FID responsibility. The services also have responsibilities in all the above listed mission areas, just not to extent or in the way that SOCOM does.
    2) However, by Joint doctrine all services are responsible for providing forces trained and ready to conduct and support FID.
    True, even though SOCOM may have nominal proponency for it. This is also true:
    The Army and the Marines and to a lesser extent (but no less important) the Navy and the Air Force have a long history of conducting operations that fall into the FID category (especially when we understand FID doctrine - all the services have contributed extensively to Indirect FID with their security assistance programs, their military to military partnerships, mobile training teams, combined training exericses (e.g., REFORGER, Cobra Gold, Bright Star, Team Spirit, Balikatan, Cabanas, Foal Eagle, just to name a few) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) which nearly all the service schools contribute to). SOF participates in those areas but has been employed to a greater extent in Direct FID and Combat FID (though again, the Army and the Marines are now heavily engaged in Combat FID in Iraq and Afghanistan as is SOF) while SOF continues to contribute to Direct FID around the world in Africa (JTF HOA and OEF-Trans-Sahal), Central and South America (e.g., Colombia and OEF - CCA) and Asia (e.g., OEF-P in The Philippines).
    Except I would add that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the services are all engaged in Direct FID as well. As a parallel, I believe you stated not long ago that SOCOM did not control all / most SOF in the CentCom AOR, that CentCom did. we're all in this together. I hope...
    ... First, there is going to be enough work for everyone for a long time to come. While SOF in general and Special Forces in particular will be able to handle most of the Direct FID operations outside of OIF and OEF Afghanistan all the services will need to contribute to Indirect FID as they always have and hopefully (if we ever see authorities change) they will to an even greater extent. (emphasis added / kw * )
    I suspect they will...
    ...SFA, COIN, Train, Advise and Assist are all natural subsets of FID. And by the way, FID doctrine also clearly states that it is more than a military approach, it has to be interagency. The problem goes back to my first point above - by law SOF (FID ?) is a (SOF ?) core mission and because of that most people have blown off reading FID doctrine...
    That and a strong desire, as it's a dirty job, to avoid it if at all possible. We've done that once (for several pertinent reasons), to repeat that error would be unwise IMO.
    ...and we have all these COIN entrepreneurs out there developing new terminology and organizations and in my (hopefully) humble opinion we are wasting a lot of intellectual time and energy trying to create new things rather than applying what has already been proven and perhaps just updating and tweaking the good existing doctrine (some have argued that since FID doctrine does not account for 1206 and 1207 funding authorities it is no longer relevant and that Security Force Assistance must replace it – again, I say that is bunk, just add 1206 and 1207 funding authority definitions (or whatever the new term is in the FY 08 legislation) to the existing FID doctrine and get on with business). Again, just because FID is a SOF core mission does negate the fact that all services have a role in FID and I am happy to see the Marine Corps taking it on responsibly.
    Totally agree. FID is one of the SOF core missions; it is, quite correctly, on everyone's mission list.

    * Emphasized to point out that there's only so much SOF, in any mid or larger sized commitment, conventional forces will have to do direct and combat FID.
    Last edited by Ken White; 08-10-2008 at 01:28 AM.

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    Default

    Outside of the effort already put forward within the FMTU under MSOB, the Marine Corps is not directing resources to establish a substantial advisory group. The tasks won't go away, but a concept for a standing organization was recently killed from what I recall.

    EDIT: MCTAG is (or was perhaps) its name.

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    With SOCOM's firm movement to field a much larger FID-capable force, USMC is purposefully stepping back from the once envisioned up-tick in the advisor role that would have been the next step beyone MCTAG, etc.

    The Security Cooperation MAGTF concept is at the core of future theater engagement. It is not SOF, but full spectrum engagement. That, too, is manpower constrained by the current fight and is a future concept, not a current experiment, pilot, etc.

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    Default D'accord, Dave and Ken

    But (there is always a "but") Ken, the norm is for the regional COCOMS to control SOF in their AOR through their SOCs. USSOCOM, as we said in that other thread, is an odd duck. It has service like responsibilities (Title 10 type authorities for accessing, training, and equipping) and, when so directed by the NCA, employing SOF. It was the degree to which that took place that engaged my discussion with Dave (less than Barry McCaffrey and I thought).

    Dave, on the name game, Bill Flavin at PKSOI has a slide he developed from one done long ago by Bill Olson (former DASD SO/LIC) called The 100 Names of LIC. I have my own version which I would be glad to share with anyone who sends me an email address in a PM.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Truth in lending – I am an SFA aficionado. The reason for that is that although we possess the premier FID resources in the world (the guys in the funny green hats and some of their compatriots), we suck at developing foreign security forces. The reason is that we have elected to take an ad hoc approach that is neither efficient nor effective.

    There are a couple of related issues here, but they probably ought to be dealt with separately.

    1. Who will be doing FID in the future, and I think that Dave Maxwell has some good insights on that subject, although we will not be able to continue business as usual ante bellum. See below.

    2. Who will provide the expeditionary forces needed for inconvenient operations around the globe, and I firmly believe that USMC will be that source. The heavy metal bands in the Army will ultimately get their way and withdraw themselves to deterrence-based locations in order to train on higher risk, but less likely scenarios.

    Dave and I disagree on the utility of continuing the FID construct as currently defined. One part of the issue I have is in the narrow construct of that definition and the resulting problems in execution. The second part is in the Army-internal struggle to cope with FID as a mission.

    According to JP 1-02, the “Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms,” FID consists of action programs to free and protect a society “from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency.” The hint to the operative feature is the word “internal” in the name. To make matters even more complicated, the United States does not believe that military forces should be charged with maintaining that internal order, rather police and police-type forces. But wait, there’s more – then, in section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act, we preclude U.S. military from training police. The current National Defense Authorization Act gives us some exceptions to that rule, but exceptions are, by definition, ad hoc. Therefore when we train military forces to conduct internal defense missions, that’s FID. But what if we’re developing them to be alliance/coalition partners or peacekeepers? What if there is no insurrection, subversion or lawlessness at home? What is that called?

    The second part of my FID problem with the Army is the mutual admiration society of Army SF and Big Green. SF is VERY protective of THEIR (by legislation, yada, yada) mission. Big Green is happy to relegate, (perhaps even abrogate) all responsibility for FID-like missions to USASOC. The Army doesn’t even have FID doctrine!!! Within the Army only Special Forces possess that doctrine. All that works relatively well until major SFA missions like Iraq and Afghanistan crop up, or budget constraints force us to do SFA more efficiently.

    Let the discussion continue.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default True, John.

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    But (there is always a "but") Ken
    Usually several, in fact...
    the norm is for the regional COCOMS to control SOF in their AOR through their SOCs. USSOCOM, as we said in that other thread, is an odd duck.
    Totally true on both, of course. Though I'd suggest that while SOCCent reponds in theater to CinCCent; they're really also responding directly (and probably more quickly, openly and honestly) to SOCOM thus one could say they're more SOC then Cent -- or something like that...

    Yes, SOCOM is an odd Turducken (to use the Cajun vernacular). IMO it was a bad idea and even as Barbwire Bob sold it, it was poorly designed. No matter, it exists so it's the way we'll go forward.

    I agreed with Dave and I also agree with Old Eagle, their and my differences are all minor and of scale, no more.

    I suspect the Marines will take over the expeditionary effort and the Army will revert to the big war syndrome and attempt to revitalize the Weinberger Doctrine (unsuccessfully in the long term - it's too geopolitically limiting). He's correct in saying there's a lot of baggage in the way of the Army truly getting involved in FID. One example is that the Marines have, as Bill said:
    ...The Security Cooperation MAGTF concept is at the core of future theater engagement. It is not SOF, but full spectrum engagement.
    an excellent approach but one the Army will not adopt simply because the Marines did it first (even though many in the Army have talked about that methodology for years).

    The problem with all that is, as Old Eagle said:
    Within the Army only Special Forces possess that doctrine. All that works relatively well until major SFA missions like Iraq and Afghanistan crop up, or budget constraints force us to do SFA more efficiently.
    and as I said:

    ""* Emphasized to point out that there's only so much SOF, in any mid or larger sized commitment, conventional forces will have to do direct and combat FID.""

    Sigh. Deja Vu all over again...

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    Council Member Boot's Avatar
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    Default Yes...

    Feel free to email me.


    Boot

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    Council Member Boot's Avatar
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    Default Just curious...

    Quote Originally Posted by SWCAdmin View Post
    With SOCOM's firm movement to field a much larger FID-capable force, USMC is purposefully stepping back from the once envisioned up-tick in the advisor role that would have been the next step beyone MCTAG, etc.

    The Security Cooperation MAGTF concept is at the core of future theater engagement. It is not SOF, but full spectrum engagement. That, too, is manpower constrained by the current fight and is a future concept, not a current experiment, pilot, etc.
    What do mean by "purosefully stepping back"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boot View Post
    What do mean by "purosefully stepping back"?
    Sorry for delay. Lost the bubble on this thread.

    At one point, MCTAG was a candidate for the SOF-ening of the Corps with a major emphasis on FID. Given SOCOM response to that mission through a recent decision to up-tick significant commitment of resources to it (near-ish future scaling proliferation of A teams, etc.) USMC considers that important METL adequately on track to be addressed and will devote blood and treasure elsewhere. Not to be confused with stepping away from key role advisors play in all ops and continued commitment to doing that well (e.g. SCMAGTF, etc.), but not a major outgrowth path.

    Source: from CMC lips to my ears (in audience), relayed as accurately as my fallibility allows.

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    Old Eagle,
    Couldn't agree with you more. While FID continues to be a useful mission set for the specialists in the field, the lack of FID applications to a large scale rebuild of Foreign Security Forces, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, leave us wanting more. I hate to sound new age, but we require, and continue to struggle with, a more holistic approach. While FID is part of it, we still continue to suck at developing Foreign Security Forces, especially the "soft" MOS troops so vital to longevity of Armed Forces and the security forces vital to internal security ranging from Police to Border Police.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

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    Hi. I'm stationed at MCTAG. Been here since last December 07. If anyone got questions, I might be able to answer them. I was the first enlisted person here, and the 3rd person here alltogether.

    a little idea of what we do...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA3yIAhgeRY
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 10-07-2008 at 01:57 AM.

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    I am a reserve corpsman getting recalled with a MTT. I am to report MCTAG. Anybody know what kind of training I will be doing? Do we go to 29 and take the MRX course at ATG?

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    you will not go to any other base than ft story, ft hill, camp lejeune.

    another video of what we do (and the training the MTTs go thru):

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/...ctid1715743027

  20. #20
    Council Member Boot's Avatar
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    Default Gen Amos guidance is out...

    his second priority is to operationalize MCTAG, looking at its role and mission to so they can efficiently carry them out, also potentially changing the name also. Very interesting. In the background he talks about needing Marines with unique and highly skill sets to do these type operations. Interesting.

    Boot
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-03-2010 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Note added and PM to author. 3/11 remove Mods note

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