October 21, 2013:
The three U.S. Marine Corps special operations battalions (MSOBs) are being moved out of Afghanistan and assigned to SOCOM (Special Operations Command) commands. The 1st MSOB will be assigned to SOCOM Pacific, while the 3rd MSOB will be assigned to MSOB Africa, and the 2nd MSOB will be assigned to SOCOM headquarters for use wherever the need is the greatest. Each MSOB has three or four companies each with four 15 man special operations teams. With support personnel, each battalion has four-hundred to five-hundred men. The 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.
MARSOC (Marine Corps Special Operations Command) has two-thousand and six-hundred personnel organized into a headquarters, a three 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 one-hundred and twenty personnel each) can provide Force Recon capabilities to marine units they are attached to.