September 20, 2007: The U.S.
Marine Corps is spending $218 million to build a base for its 2,000 Marine
Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) troops at Camp Lejeune, North
Carolina. MARSOC has 2,600 personnel, organized into a headquarters, a two battalion
Special Operations Regiment, a Foreign Military Training Unit, and a Marine
Special Operations Support Group.
The marines basically lost two
of their four Force Recon companies (one of them a reserve unit) in order to
build MARSOC. Meanwhile, more troops have been added to division level
reconnaissance units, to take up some of that slack. The Special Operations
companies (with about 120 personnel each) can provide Force Recon capabilities
to marine units they are attached to.
The two Special Operations
Battalions provide a combination of services roughly equal to what the U.S.
Army Special Forces and Rangers do, as well as some of the functions of the
Force Recon units. Eventually, there are to be nine companies in the two
Special Operations Battalion. So far, only four of those companies have been
Construction of the new
complex will be completed next year.