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Subject: New Info On MARSOC's DA Arm The MSOCs: Composition and Mission Taskings.
SCCOMarine    1/31/2007 7:00:34 PM
Good day gentleman, Sorry for my hiatus. College has started back up and I've been getting my package together to transfer to a school in Tokyo next fall. But anyway back to MARSOC I've been doing some digging into the MSOCs (Marine Special Operations Companies) that deploy w/the MEU(SOC)s and have gathered some info on a few questions that and many people, including myself have had about such things as: Compostion: Who's in an MSOC and what do they do? Tasking: This was a big question. When they deploy w/ a MEU(SOC) they are under the tactical control(tacon) of the MEU CO(*1), an 0-6 COL, and the OPCON of the TSOC, Theater Special Operations CO usually a 3star, they say "separable but not separate" from the MEU. But when a mission comes down the pipe, who do they belong to? If the TSOC needs them do they leave the MEU(SOC) w/out any Special Mission capability. Keep in mind the MEU(SOC) sacrificed the MSPF so the MSOCs could be formed. ? (*1) When at sea the entire MEU(SOC), including the MSOC, is under the command of the Navy PHIBRON CO, an 0-6 CAPT. Training: What is the Training Pipeline and who receives what? Missions: This question most people already have a general answer for but what I'll be addressing is what most people outside the Marine Corps don't understand about how the MC operates, and what has been absent in SOCOM to date. That's a Full Spectrum Battle-Spacing Capability; the MSOC will provide this along w/ a previously unseen level of unit flexibility. Like in my years B4 in the MC, B4 we start a brief its always best to begin with an attention getter. Some form of info that gets everyone on the same page and facilitates the understanding of the info provided in the brief. I've chosen an article by the Times for this. My infomation isn't based off of it my info goes well beyond the art., it contradicts some points and expands others. But what the art. does is cover some basics that I don't feel like writing about. If you have any ?'s on the art. ask but i'm want to stay w/the MSOC. The art. covers some info on DET-1; some missions, some training, some structure, this will help form an idea of how the MC has shaped the MSOCs per SOCOM's requests for what they need.
 
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SCCOMarine    The ARTICLE   1/31/2007 7:13:33 PM
The Bullets in Italics I added to explain particular sections. 

This article is not the info on the MSOCs.  That I will type in posts after the art.  But you should read the art. to understand what is written about the MSOC's.



Lost in the shuffle

Det 1’s combat record showed it could stand out among spec ops, but the Corps cut short this unit’s stellar story

By Gidget Fuentes
Times staff writer

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. ? Tensions were flaring in the Iraqi town of Kut as insurgents took over key buildings in the city along the Tigris River south of Baghdad.

An Army Special Forces “A” team, supported by a small detachment of Marine air-naval gunfire liaisons, had been working with the Ukrainian military, which was holed up in its base when insurgents overran the local police station.

Over five days in August 2004, the “A” team fought from its safe house, taking casualties before it requested support from headquarters.

That call for help went to a highly trained team of leathernecks who, at the time, represented an experimental unit that marked the Marine Corps’ official foray into the world of special operations forces.

Enemy fighters had taken over key parts of the city, “and we had to get it back. So we just helped the SF guys out doing that,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Charles Padilla, the senior man and recon team leader.

 

  • “Master Guns Padilla and Master Sgt Keeler are Recon Senior NCO’s trained in controlling the air and all forms of Fire Support not just calling in strikes.”



“We got there just in the right time.”

Within hours and under cover of night, a 16-member team from Marine Corps Special Operations Command Detachment 1 ? including reconnaissance scouts, snipers, fire-support coordinators, communicators and radio recon operators ? flew from its base near Baghdad to a nearby strip and worked its way into the city. The Marines arrived around 1 a.m. and linked up with Special Forces.

For one week, Det 1 and the Special Forces “A” team operated together, pulling security for local officials, taking the high ground around the city and river to provide cover and directing aircraft to strike buildings housing insurgent fighters.

When an Army Stryker brigade combat team arrived days later, Det 1 stayed to help quell the insurgents and plan the eventual retaking of the city before heading to Najaf, which was teeming with insurgents.

The men said it was a seamless blend of skills and high-tech capabilities that the Army units, including one battalion commanded by a Ranger-trained officer, welcomed with open arms.

“They just used us as if we were another one of their teams,” Padilla said, adding that without the Det’s capability to control and synchronize fires, and do command and control, “the Stryker battalions would have went in blind.”

The Det team’s accomplishment, repeated in similar fashion during the intense battle for Najaf later that month, is among the highlights of a combat deployment by an experimental unit that has stayed off the public’s radar.

Det 1 broke ground June 20, 2003, as a “proof of concept” designed to see whether Marines should become part of U.S. Special Operations Command. The Marines, who numbered 102 when they deployed, jumped into intense training before leaving on schedule in April

 
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SCCOMarine    MSOC Composition   1/31/2007 7:19:13 PM

Composition: Who's in a MSOC and what do they do?

 

There are currently plans to make 9 MSOCs: 5 east in 2nd MSOB, 4 west in 1st MSOB.

Each MSOC will be commanded by an 0-4 Major.  Each will consist of  97 to 118 Marines.  The MSOC that has just deployed with the 26th MEU(SOC) has 115.  From what I’ve gathered so far here’s the breakdown:

  • 42 Reconnaissance Marines.
  • Broken into 2x 21 man plts.
  • Each plt consists of a 3 man HQ cell.  1x Plt CO: 0-3 Cpt.  1x Plt Sgt E-7 Gunnery Sgt.  1x E-4 & above Petty Officer or Chief PO SARC (Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman)
  • 3x Recon teams per plt. Each team consisting of 6 Recon Marines lead by an E-6 SSgt.  All Recon Marines are E-4 Cpl and above.
  • That’s a total of 6 recon teams per MSOC.  Marine RT’s operate independent of their Comm. Offs and Plt Sgt .

 The rest of the MSOC setup gets a little tricky b/c its modular.  I’ll start with the MSOC HQ section.  Here’s what I have so far:

  • MSOC CO 0-4 Major, XO Cpt.
  • 2 man Operation section both either E-8 Master Sgt or E-7 GySgt.
  • 2 man Communications Section. MSgt & Gunny.
  • 2 man Rigger/Armory NCO SSgt/GySgt.
  • X-man maybe 1-3 man SARC section, same as recon section.
  • 4-6 man Logistics, Motor T, and Admin section.
  • 2 man Fire Support Liaisons from ANGLICO.

 Another section that can see Fluctuation is the Intel sect:

  • 6 man HET or Human/Int Exploitation Team.  Composed of 1x Counter Intelligence Chief Warr. Off.  2x Count. Intel Marines Sgt & up.  And 3x Human Interrogators.
  • 6 or 9 man Radio Reconnaissance Team.  Lead by a SSgt.  I don’t have the exact MOS’s in front of me but its 3 redundant jobs.  I believe one intercepts Data and Codes, one intercepts Voice Comm, and one transmits and supports allied Comm.  All RRT Marines are trained in various foreign languages B4 coming to MarSOC.
  • 6-10 man All Source Fusion Team.  Composed of Intel Analysis & Topographical Analysis Marines.

 
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SCCOMarine    Training   1/31/2007 7:46:33 PM

Training: What is the Training Pipeline and who receives what?

 

The Entire Training pipeline has not yet been made public yet.  However what has been said so far is that all Marines in the MSOC are to be trained to FR standards & beyond.  All Marines in the MSOC are HALO & HAHO qual’d to 29,999ft (that was the exact number printed), all are Combat Scuba qual’d, along with all the specialized insertion and extraction techniques used by FR and all SOF.  All are trained in Long Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Direct Action, basically all the same skills as FR.  However the Recon element is the lead section for all assaults b/c of their years of experience the qualifications won’t drop for the Supp & Intel Marines.

 

What I don’t know at this time is whether or not all MSOC Marines would attend BRC or not?  My guess would be yes b/c B4 MARSOC, FR and RRT Marines constantly trained together and BRC was Mandatory for all RRT Marines. 

 

I don’t know it for sure therefore it can’t speculate.  However I know that prior to MARSOC, FR’s In-House training program had a program called CRP the Combat Replacement Program.  And they trained the logistics and admin personnel in the FR Co HQ plt in all those skills w/out attending the formal schools.  But the MSOC’s personnel are not replacements and will be conducting their own missions, but more on that in the missions section.

 

This I have been told will be the responsibility of the MSOS, Special Reconnaissance and Direct Action.  For all MSOC Marines as well as all the MSOSG, Marine Special Operations Support Group, Marines as well.
 
 
 
Missions is my next post.
 
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SCCOMarine    Missions And Taskings   1/31/2007 9:30:26 PM

Missions: This question most people already have a general answer for but what I'll be addressing is what most people outside the Marine Corps don't understand about how the MC operates, and what has been absent in SOCOM to date.  That’s a Full Spectrum Battle-Spacing Capability; the MSOC will provide this along w/ a previously unseen level of unit flexibility.

 

Tasking: This was a big question. When they deploy w/ a MEU(SOC) they are under the tactical control(tacon) of the MEU CO(*1), an 0-6 COL, and the OPCON of the TSOC, Theater Special Operations CO usually a 3star, they say "separable but not separate" from the MEU.  But when a mission comes down the pipe, who do they belong to? If the TSOC needs them do they leave the MEU(SOC) w/out any Special Mission capability. Keep in mind the MEU(SOC) sacrificed the MSPF so the MSOCs could be formed.

  • (*1) When at sea the entire MEU(SOC), including the MSOC, is under the command of the Navy PHIBRON CO, an 0-6 CAPT.

 

These I put together b/c it is the Meat and potatoes of how they operate.  MSOC will deploy on the MEUs as 97-118 man Dets. But when they get tasked missions they will operate similar to DET-1 in task unit varying in size from 2-18 man teams of various MOS’s depending on the task assigned.

 

From what I know right now they simply refer to these teams simply as stacks.  What I’m being told is that there are 6x 16-18 man stacks, named Alpha thru Fox stack.  The general set-up of these stacks are 1x 6man recon team, 1x 6man Infantry team,  1 HET Marine, with x-positions to fill out the stack depending on mission requirement; Snipers, EOD, Radio Recon, whatever the mission calls for.  Each stack will be lead by a Senior NCO w/ a Recon background either a Gunny (E7), (Top) Master Sgt (E8), or a Master Guns (E-9) from the HQ cell.  will control all air support and fire support.

 

You have already read about the teams Master Guns Padilla and Top Keeler lead in the prev. art. For further task description there is about one of the Bronze Stars that was handed to one of the Counter Intel (CI) Marines.

 

 

 

A brief summary of the story is that CJSOTF-AP COL Repass a US Army COL had made a complaint to the Commander CJSOTF that the NSWTG-AP CO CDR Wilson that he was not using the DET as per their charter and that the Marines were not getting fair opportunities to show their capabilities.

 

The fact was he was pissed that CDR Wilson was using an 8 man team from the DET for a PSD mission when he wanted them transferred to a small Army base south of Baghdad.  An SF team and a SEAL plt  were operating from it and were getting shelled daily from mortars for months, and for a period of weeks it had been very precise.  He wanted the 8 man team transferred b/c of its composition; it was a 6 man Recon Team w/ 2 CI Marines.

 

They transferred an 8 man SEAL team to the PSD for the DET team.  Within 3 days the CI Marines believed they had isolated the cause.  They believed small group of merchants on base pumping the soldiers for info and using birds to help the mortarmen adjust fire.

 
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schuehle       2/28/2009 12:13:34 AM

Good day gentleman, Sorry for my hiatus. College has started back up and I've been getting my package together to transfer to a school in Tokyo next fall.

But anyway back to MARSOC I've been doing some digging into the MSOCs (Marine Special Operations Companies) that deploy w/the MEU(SOC)s and have gathered some info on a few questions that and many people, including myself have had about such things as:

Compostion: Who's in an MSOC and what do they do?

Tasking: This was a big question. When they deploy w/ a MEU(SOC) they are under the tactical control(tacon) of the MEU CO(*1), an 0-6 COL, and the OPCON of the TSOC, Theater Special Operations CO usually a 3star, they say "separable but not separate" from the MEU. But when a mission comes down the pipe, who do they belong to? If the TSOC needs them do they leave the MEU(SOC) w/out any Special Mission capability. Keep in mind the MEU(SOC) sacrificed the MSPF so the MSOCs could be formed.
? (*1) When at sea the entire MEU(SOC), including the MSOC, is under the command of the Navy PHIBRON CO, an 0-6 CAPT.


Training: What is the Training Pipeline and who receives what?

Missions: This question most people already have a general answer for but what I'll be addressing is what most people outside the Marine Corps don't understand about how the MC operates, and what has been absent in SOCOM to date. That's a Full Spectrum Battle-Spacing Capability; the MSOC will provide this along w/ a previously unseen level of unit flexibility.

Like in my years B4 in the MC, B4 we start a brief its always best to begin with an attention getter. Some form of info that gets everyone on the same page and facilitates the understanding of the info provided in the brief.

I've chosen an article by the Times for this. My infomation isn't based off of it my info goes well beyond the art., it contradicts some points and expands others. But what the art. does is cover some basics that I don't feel like writing about. If you have any ?'s on the art. ask but i'm want to stay w/the MSOC.

The art. covers some info on DET-1; some missions, some training, some structure, this will help form an idea of how the MC has shaped the MSOCs per SOCOM's requests for what they need.
 
 
Unfortunately these postings include numerous inaccuracies, starting with command relationships.  This entire thread could use a serious overhaul.

 
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schuehle    Refer to MARSOC   2/28/2009 12:16:22 AM
For an accurate picture of command relationships, organizations, composition, and capabilities I would refer to the MARSOC web page and be generally careful when regarding thread such as this (well meaning but off the mark in many regards).
 
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papanik1       2/28/2009 8:04:55 PM
I think this info is a little outdated.
 
Composition of MSOCs has changed. Besides "enablers" (CI, RRT, FSO etc) it is supposed to contain now a number of MSOTs (most times 3 MSOTs in a DA/SR MSOC belonging to a MSOB) each comprised (doctrinally) by 14 men. Havent seen any published info on composition besides the fact that it is commanded by a CPT.
Training pipeline for MARSOC operators is long (about 7 months) and does not include language at this point. Lang comes at the unit level, I imagine based on if a soldier belongs to a MSOAG or a MSOB unit. 
 
It may be parallel to the training that FR used to get ( and will get again since its coming back) but it is not the same thing and has a different structure. 
 
 
 
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papanik1       2/28/2009 8:32:33 PM
According to my info, there are no more security (regular infantry) squads/pltoons in a MSOC. They were disbanded in order to bolster MSOAG MSOTs.
 
Command relationships are a bit clouded at this point. The fact that FR is coming back and AFAIK will be deployed with 11th MEU seems to point in the direction of MSOCs being sort of independent of MEU missions even if they are on board ( the same way a SEAL platoon was in the past).
 
As I stated in another thread even the army is organising new units that a few years back would be named SOF units (like LRS Companies in BfS Brigades, centered on "operational" Recon-Surv missions and limited "interdiction.
 
Same thing with the USMC besides Recon now FR is coming back. Maybe they will not get officialy the DA mission set they had but it is obvious they will get at least part of the skillset through SOTG (even Recon units do) since CQB is now even in the regular units inventory up to a point due to the nature of GWOT operations.
 
My feeling is that because of SOCOMs independence (regarding missions),  and the nature of GWOT, big Army and big Corps are creating a third tier of SOF, that will not be named SOF, but will get missions that in Vietnam for instance were considered "special operations" 
 
Missions that require special skills, a form of selection and special equipment. According to the ARMY personel for Long Range Surv Companies will have to be a) Airborne Qualified, b) all NCOs Ranger qualified. c) Most Personel LRS course qualified. Most persolnel either MFF or SCUBA (or both) qualified.
 
Now this makes for a soldier that is as maybe even better qualified than a Ranger but doctrinally is supposed to have a recon-surv only mission.
 
So you tell me during war, when a commander needs a small scale raid force ASAP without having to get through the TSOC chain of command etc,  who will be the obvious choice?
 
Regrading Marines, it is clear that big corps is not happy loosing their highly trained SR/DA FR assets to SOCOM. The manpower is there and with bigger budgets and a new mentality ( USMC now has its own MFF school) there is room for FR and MARSOC.
 
Main difference between them? a) Who they work for b) MARSOC has more Unconventional/FID skills and c) more available in house support regarding "enablers".
 
What does this mean? A SF unit or a Ranger Bat or a MARSOC MSOCt now have more or less "organic" enablers- if they are not part of the unit itdelf they are a part of the unit they belong to.
 
In contrast, a FR unit or an army LRSCompany will have to get them from the supported "regular" unit ( an army TF or a Marine MEU etc) and would not be able to conduct operations as a stand alone unit.
 
BUT IMHO this arrangement is getting highly compicated with the ground branches getting their "SOF" that are not SOF in name and SOCOM coordinating with the branches for their SOF mission. The "who gets what mission and when" can lead to a lot of comfusion and missmanagement of assets.
 
My .02
 
 
 
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