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Thread: USMC and SOCOM

  1. #41
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    Default Corps’ Trainers Target ‘Ungoverned’ Areas of World

    March issue of National Defense - Corps’ Trainers Target ‘Ungoverned’ Areas of World.

    The first element of the Marine Corps’ new special-operations command already is scrambling to tackle its mission—to help prepare the soldiers of under-developed nations to defend themselves against terrorists.

    The foreign military unit, as it has been dubbed, was established in October 2005, said its operations officer, Maj. Herman Glover. Ultimately, it will include 430 Marines and Navy medical corpsmen. The unit will be organized into a headquarters element, four companies built around two-dozen 11-man teams and a standards and training cadre. The companies will focus on specific regions where cultures and languages are similar, Glover said...

    Training foreign military personnel has been a core assignment for special operators at least since 1952, when the Army’s Special Forces were founded. But the pace of that training has grown significantly in recent years as part of emerging U.S. counter-terrorist operations. In 2004, in addition to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, special operators participated in more than 50 joint combined-exercise training events with other nations around the world...

    Teams will deploy to host nations for periods ranging from six weeks to three months, he said. They will teach basic infantry and counter-terrorist tactics. Among the subjects will be:

    • Individual skills, such as marksmanship with individual and crew-served weapons, hand-to-hand combat, first aid and tactical communications.

    • Small-unit tactics, including coastal interdiction, patrolling, offensive and defensive operations, urban shooting skills and civil affairs.

    • Anti-terrorism and force protection, such as access control and unit self-defense.

    • Support functions, including basic logistics and casualty evacuation.

    • Leadership and law of land warfare.

    ... The FMTU is recruiting mature Marines who can work independently, knowing that their actions can have strategic implications, he said. In fact, the first two teams, which began training in August 2005, are made up entirely of non-commissioned officers with at least one overseas deployment in an infantry unit and foreign language capability.

    Once they join the FMTU, Marines will be expected to stay three to five years—a relatively long tour of duty—Glover said. “We will invest a lot of time and money to teach them those skills, and we want to get our money’s worth.”

    After their tours in the FMTU is over, Marines can either go back to a regular Marine unit or transfer to another MARSOC element, such as one of the special-operations battalions or the support group...

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    Link doesn't work for me.

    After their tours in the FMTU is over, Marines can either go back to a regular Marine unit or transfer to another MARSOC element, such as one of the special-operations battalions or the support group...
    I'll have to think about it, but this sounds bass ackwards to me.

    And 3-5 isn't a long tour for doing FID.

    ... The FMTU is recruiting mature Marines who can work independently, knowing that their actions can have strategic implications, he said. In fact, the first two teams, which began training in August 2005, are made up entirely of non-commissioned officers with at least one overseas deployment in an infantry unit and foreign language capability.
    Sounds good. I just hope they are not focusing on language to the exclusion of all else.

    Thanks for posting it, I like watching this develop.

  4. #44
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    Default National Defense Site

    Quote Originally Posted by NDD
    Link doesn't work for me.
    I think the site (NDIA's National Defense Magazine) was down earlier, seems to be working now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDilegge
    I think the site (NDIA's National Defense Magazine) was down earlier, seems to be working now.
    I'm in, thanks.

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    Default MARSOC Begins Deployments This Summer

    16 March San Diego Union-Tribune - Marine Corps Force Deploys in Summer.

    The newly formed Marine Corps Special Operations Command will begin its global missions this summer, the command's leader said Tuesday.

    Although his 2,600-man force won't be fully operational until 2008, Marine Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik said a unit focused on training foreign troops will deploy soon. Also, a special operations company from Camp Lejeune, N.C., will deploy with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in the summer.

    The first West Coast company will deploy next year with the Camp Pendleton-based 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Hejlik said...

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    What do you think?

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    I understand Det 1 was stood down about three weeks ago and that when they offered their 28 million dollars worth of equipment to MARSOC, the new CG wanted to know why they had all of that specialized kit.

  9. #49
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    Default RUMINT or First Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by GS
    I understand Det 1 was stood down about three weeks ago and that when they offered their 28 million dollars worth of equipment to MARSOC, the new CG wanted to know why they had all of that specialized kit.
    Not sure if your "info" is first hand or rumor. If rumor I would say that the CG's statement, if actually true, was taken out of context. Most likely his comment concerned the truly "high tech" gear DET-1 had (Direct Action mission) compared to the entire kit his force will need in reference to the non-direct action missions they will undertake.

    Again, I would like to hear all the words that came before, and after, that comment - if he actually made it. Context means a lot...........

  10. #50
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    Dave,
    My info comes from a Det 1 guy.
    Eric

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    GAO, 5 Sep 07: Management Actions Are Needed to Effectively Integrate Marine Corps Forces into the U.S. Special Operations Command
    Whilethe Marine Corps has made progress in establishing its special operations command, the Command has not yet fully identified the force structure needed to perform its assigned missions. DOD developed initial force structure plans to establish the Command; however, it did not use critical practices of strategic planning, such as the alignment of activities and resources and the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making processes when developing these plans. As a result of limitations in the strategic planning process, the Command has identified several force structure challenges that will likely affect the Command’s ability to perform its full range of responsibilities, and is working to revise its force structure.

    Although preliminary steps have been taken, the Marine Corps has not developed a strategic human capital approach to manage the critical skills and competencies required of personnel in its special operations command. While the Command has identified some skills needed to perform special operations missions, it has not conducted a comprehensive analysis to determine all of the critical skills and incremental training required of personnel in its special operations forces units. These analyses are critical to the Marine Corps’ efforts to develop a strategic human capital approach for the management of personnel in its special operations forces units. Without the benefit of these analyses, the Marine Corps has developed an interim policy to assign some personnel to special operations forces units for extended tour lengths to account for the additional training and skills; however, the policy is inconsistent with the Command’s goal for the permanent assignment of some personnel within the special operations community. Until the Command completes an analysis to identify and document the critical skills and competencies needed by its future workforce to perform its full range of special operations missions, the Marine Corps will not have a sound basis for developing or evaluating alternative strategic human capital approaches for managing personnel assigned to its special operations forces units.

    USSOCOM does not have a sound basis for determining whether the Command’s training programs are preparing units for their missions because it has not established common training standards for many special operations skills and it has not formally evaluated whether these programs prepare units to be fully interoperable with other special operations forces. The Command is providing training to its forces that is based on training programs for conventional units that were assigned some special operations missions prior to the Command’s activation and incorporates the training that USSOCOM’s other service components provide to their forces. However, USSOCOM has not validated that the training for Marine Corps forces prepares them to be fully interoperable with DOD’s other special operations forces. Without an evaluation, USSOCOM cannot demonstrate the needed assurances that Marine Corps forces are fully interoperable with its other forces, which may jeopardize the success of future joint missions....
    Complete 48 page report at the link.

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    Default Make the USMC tomorrow's USSOCOM

    Bring back the GWOT and make the USMC responsible for “winning” this conflict over the next forty years.

    Just a quick thought to resurrect this train. As a “conventional” fighter pilot/Air Force officer at an Army school for the past year, I am an outside observer to both the Army and Marine Corps institutions.

    A speaker today from USSOCOM provided a “Strategic Appreciation” chart showing the potential tensions in the world system generating instability counter to the interests of the United States. The chart indicated instability and criminal activity followed migratory/trade routes from troubled areas to the doorstep of the United States. Also clearly evident from the presentation, if not explicitly stated, was that USSOCOM required increased capability above the current 57,000 personnel in order to counter this threat and influence the unfolding global system in purposeful ways over the coming decades.

    I am not an economist or an historian. But my instinct tells me that the United States is in danger of financial ruin caused in part by “imperial overstretch” and poor political decisions. The debt has reached the insanity level. Military resources are sure to decline in the coming years out of necessity for the United States to continue adequate governance at home. USSOCOM expansion currently requires sacrifices from the existing budgets of the services.

    What if the USMC transitioned from an energetic and youthful force bred to take the hill to a more mature force capable of nuanced decision making and influence backed up with lethal effects? What if the USMC were given the task to fully assume responsibility to conduct Overseas Contingency Operations (GWOT)? The Marines already have significant capabilities in their favor to execute this mission: motivated; mobile by boat, air, or land; joint within the department; and a select group full of pride and tradition. These characteristics are immediately transferrable to turn this force into an effective GWOT capability for the benefit of the United States.

    USMC responsibility for the GWOT would allow the Army, Air Force and Navy to focus on conventional and nuclear deterrence. This arrangement provides the highest potential for success in today’s fight while deterring or winning tomorrow’s conflict within the resource constraints of future budgets paying down massive debt.

  13. #53
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Yogi - what a first post!

    Yogi,

    Congratulations on such a first post, challenging "conventional" wisdom and advocating the USMC take on the GWOT role - even more of 'what' when you are an airman.

    Elsewhere Imperial overstretch has been discussed, IIRC more on the financial burden, rather than who should be the "boots on the ground". Curiously after WW1 the British Empire considered and implemented the use of air power for imperial policing, notably in Iraq and less so along the Northwest Frontier (now the FATA). Military effectiveness and cost-cutting were involved, plus the then new "toy" of air power.

    I was puzzled at this:
    A speaker today from USSOCOM provided a “Strategic Appreciation” chart showing the potential tensions in the world system generating instability counter to the interests of the United States. The chart indicated instability and criminal activity followed migratory/trade routes from troubled areas to the doorstep of the United States.
    For some the chart should have shown instability and criminal activity follow routes from the USA to troubled areas. Mexico is a good, current example where US domestic demand for drugs has increased the crisis of governance. I am sure other SWC members, including two SOF members, have chimed in on this theme recently.

    Now I shall sit back and see if your post causes others to react.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Hardly a One Way Street

    David, I must take some minor issue with your characterization of drug related crime as flowing from the US (demand). Demand is, itself, much more complicated with Europe being as (nearly ore perhaps more so) big a market for illicit drugs as the US. Then there are the emerging drug markets in the producing and transit countries. Other issues that are related - criminal gangs. The Salvadoran MS 13 and Mexican 18th Street were founded in the US, exported back to their home countries through deportation exacerbated by no notice to the host country from the deporting country(US, UK, Canada) and then re-exported to the US (and UK and Canada). Point, as my title suggests, is that this is a highly complex issue with few, if any, good answers.

    For our Air Force and USMC friends - our world is now JOINT whether we likeit or not. USMC capabilities can be enhanced in the direction suggested or not but the USMC (and USAF, USN, USA, and USCG) will operate jointly for the foreseeable future under unified commanders, JTFs and JIATFs. That means that the GWOT, by whatever name, will be joint (writ large) - which I applaud. Each military service along with other govt agencies brings unique capabilities to the table which are generally much more effective when employed together than when used alone.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Yogi,

    It could be argued that this was the mission of the Marine Corps in 1920s and 30s from Central America to China and outposts in between, and this continued after the Second World War. This is why they were so successful in the Chosin Resevoir Campiagn (the small number of Army tanks and tankers helped all out of proportion to their numbers too). The United States Marine Corps had kept its combat role and mission.

    revet.

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    Default Chosin and Personnel

    Gi Zhou:

    I think this article - http://afs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/22/2/257 - argues it was Marine personnel policy that contributed to success at Chosin.(Mod's note - article behind a register and paywall).

    Thanks
    Jeff
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-31-2010 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Mod's note added

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    Davidbfpo,

    The SOCOM speaker acknowledged the return of resources/money etc. following the trade routes.

    GI Zhou,

    I agree that the Marines were highly effective at executing the majority of the President’s/United States foreign policy over the years. The Marines have used airpower in small wars for longer than the USAF has existed. My confidence in their capabilities and motivation are part of the reason I suggest their responsibility for this ongoing operation.

    John T.

    The GWOT is the “most likely” threat to the United States. Full up conventional or nuclear war, through direct conflict or the escalation smoldering cold war remnants is arguably the “most dangerous” for the long-term existence of the United States. One “joint” organization preparing for both means compromise. Jack of all trades, master of none…

    If the Marine Corps assumed or is assigned the responsibility for the GWOT, this would increase the overall security of the United States. As an airman, I’ll use the debate about the Joint Strike Fighter and the Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) to demonstrate. The USAF is purchasing 100 LAAR aircraft to fill the gap between conventional capabilities and Irregular Warfare requirements in a permissive air environment (http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...hes-light.html). This procurement is simultaneous with the requirement to cut over 5,000 active airmen from the force to comply with resource constraints while ISR requirements continue to rise. The idea is that these aircraft will allow increased USAF Foreign Internal Defense (FID) capability as well as fill a niche capability for the Joint Forces Air Component Commander during JTF operations.

    I would argue this LAAR capability, while extremely important, is better served by the USMC invested/responsible for the GWOT and assuming FID as part of that effort. Does the USMC really need a Harrier replacement in a 4th generation STOL aircraft? I think it is a hard sell. With the JSF estimated at $135M per aircraft (http://defensetech.org/2010/03/20/js...o-135-million/) that is an expensive platform for an arguably required capability. What if the USMC purchased 150 LAAR at $5M a piece (less than $1B for 150 aircraft and boats to preposition them on, or 7 JSF) and operated 50 for training and prepositioned the others afloat for potential FID or GWOT efforts? The bang for the buck would significantly increase for the United States if the Marines assumed this FID/GWOT role for the land/sea and air domains.

    Thanks for the comments. Who listens to these ideas any way? Do they make a difference in the long run?

    Yogi

  18. #58
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Okay, for the purpose of discussion let's assume that the Marine Corps has transferred its conventional warmaking responsibilities to the other services so it can focus exclusively on the counterterrorist mission. Does this mean that Jcustis would be forced to become an Army officer?

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    Default Believe it or not...

    The last time I ran into this proposal was on the Army Staff where a bunch of heavy forces think tankers were toying with it. In the ramp down after Desert Storm, they were proposing that the Army transform itself into a heavy fighting force to "fight and win" the nations ground campaigns. Those light forces not transformed would be dealt away to the USMC to form contested entrance forces and troops for all the lesser included offenses.

    I wonder if there was a good reason why it never came to fruition. Other than that "the division" (82d Abn for you uninitiated) would become a Marine asset.

    Hmmm.

  20. #60
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    Yogi (post 52),

    I think you missed the intent of the Strategic Appreciation brief. First, from your post:

    Also clearly evident from the presentation, if not explicitly stated, was that USSOCOM required increased capability above the current 57,000 personnel in order to counter this threat and influence the unfolding global system in purposeful ways over the coming decades.
    That's actually the exact opposite what the brief intends to get across. PM me for details, but basically, the brief tries to show that while we were in our happy foreign policy Cold War box that defined everything we did up till 1989 and the way we looked at all other countries and 'problems' across the globe, the world changed but we, the USG and hence DoD, did not adapt our respective mindsets. The result we see today are true, fundamental challenges that get short shrift from USG while we focus our blood and treasure on the symptoms, not the causes. What's worse, other challenges are being left unchecked to the detriment of future stability and national security.

    The brief then attempts to draw a correlation between how the DoD, and USSOCOM specifically, have traditionally been used in the past and how currently, given systemic, environmental, demographic, and economic trends, the USG can adapt to meet rising and future challenges. Through the yet-to-be-learned effective partnering across the various Departments and even NGOs and possibly MNCs and partner nations where applicable, we could possibly focus on and manage/mitigate/lessen the negative effects which current foreign policy and military legacy mindsets ignore or otherwise sideline in favor of focusing on major theater war with hypothetical enemies or maintaining the comfortable Cold War, zero-sum box we live in to this day.

    To do this, SOCOM isn't asking for more bodies from the Services but rather cooperation at the strategic through the tacical level, from DOS, Agriculture, FBI, CIA, etc, etc, etc. This will make our SOF more effective and help the USG realize that in the "3D" construct all Depts and especially the SOF warrior apply all three of the "Ds" (diplomacy, development, defense...or more properly, 'security') at various times in their respective deployed duties. DoD and DoS have nominally bought into this 3D construct/theory, but there are still too many stovepipes and mis-allocated funding to make it effective.

    The Strat App only tries to show that the world has changed while we weren't looking; not that its more complicated now than ever before (that's a convenient excuse people use to forgo critical thought in seeking blanket funding), but rather that views of problems/challenges, partners, economies of force, training, strategies, and of course, budgets, have to adapt to the new environment and its challenges. Its not seeking a bigger USSOCOM empire; its actually seeking a smaller and more shared DoD slice of the pie. To do that, SOCOM is first focusing and realigning its doctrine, mission, strategy, and vision of the world. So far, we've had success in shedding light on the new environment and the failings of our legacy crutches.

    It sounds like the J5 shop might need to reengage or at least provide some standalone briefs/EXSUMs. Are you at AWC? SAMS?

    MAJ Kotkin
    (I'm deploying in a week, but I can take any questions/concerns and forward them to the right POC in the Strategy Division to get back to you.)

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