USMC Budget cuts: Axing units in Recon and MARSOC

Discussion in 'US Marine Corps Special Operations' started by tigerstr, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    I found a second source before I posted which I confused with the original link. Sorry for the confusion:

    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/new...uts-may-slash-additional-marine-units-013112/

     
  2. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    Nothing in the article about this. However IIRC, after the recent demise of the EFV, there are plans to give AAVs a new lease of life and to create a new amphib tracked vehicle down the road, but a much less ambitious one than the EFV. Again IIRC, regarding wheeled vehicles there are continuing plans for the MPC (Marine Personel Carrier), but I am not sure what the plans are regarding the fleet of Hummers compared to the JLTV project.

    I have read that the Army will concentrate efforts on the JLTV, (vice upgrades to the Hummer fleet) but I am not sure if Marines are on the same boat.


    Hope this helps a little.
     
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  3. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    Actually three (decided) to four (probable) Infantry Battalions will be axed, bringing the Infantry force either to the level it was before the plus-up ( 24 Battalions) or at 23 Battalions.

    So to concur with your point, how does this justify axing 1/3 of Recon Companies, as this looks like? Except if this has to do with raising the number of Platoons in each remaining Company, which would not be all that unusual.

    Regarding MARSOC, according to the same article, cutbacks won’t be on the CSO side but on enablers. I quote:

    «Meanwhile, at MARSOC there are ongoing plans to expand the command’s number of small special operations teams from 30 to 48. Officials there expect to see growth slowed in the effort to recruit and train special operations capabilities specialists, the combat support Marines who hold expertise in areas such as intelligence, dog handling, joint terminal attack control and even truck driving and plumbing, a source said».

    Its to early to say but if these cutbacks prove significant, it would be a pity, since MARSOC has/had plans to put special emphasis on enablers in order to create a strong “MAGTF” like concept for Marine SOF.
     
  4. 0699

    0699 Verified Military

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    I don't know that many will be surprised by 9th Marines going away. IIRC, it was kind of expected that they were only being stood up to provide a command element for 1/2/3 9 because of the war. With Iraq done and Afghanistan going away soon, it's time to put those units back in storage until needed again. Hell, during 04-07, 2MARDIV didn't have the equipment sets at CL to fully support all its subordinate units. T/E equipment was handed from battalion to battalion; there were basically enough sets in CL to train with and that was it. On a side note, it made equipment readiness hell. :mad:

    Getting rid of 8th Marines does surprise me, as it destroys a lot of our ideas about what constitutes a regiment/division. While I understand the need to reduce HQ elements IOT fully man the infantry battalions, they need to be careful that it doesn't detroy the regimental identity (I know Marines that spent over half their career in one regiment; not quite like the British system, but close) like the Army did with theirs. Although we're mandated by law to have 3 active divisions and 3 active air wings, nothing dictates the size of those units. 3MARDIV has effectively been a small regiment since 9th Marines was stood down there.

    This sounds very dangerous to me. If MARSOC isn't manned with the support elements needed to perform their missions, you'll end up with unknowns when you throw together a Marine-heavy JSOTF.
     
  5. Manolito

    Manolito Lewis B. Puller for todays problems! Verified Military

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    I sure see your point I have to wonder if the Marines will go back to a coastal fighting force? If they stay inland like they have for the last ten years they need to rethink their complete support program including fuel delivery from the coast etc. Very interesting to see how this comes out. I have some Navy friends being notified they will not be allowed to re-enlist when their date comes up. I also hear people are bieng let out if they just drop a request.
    The entire supply chain management has to change if it is going to support both the Army and the Marine Corps.
     
  6. JohnnyBoyUSMC

    JohnnyBoyUSMC Click, click, boom. Verified Military

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    The Corps (at least when I was getting out back a few months ago) seemed to wanna be getting more focused on the amphib/MEU stuff and being the 911 force that can respond anywhere there is a MEU. 1/1 when I was with them was slated for Afghan then changed to a MEU float, and 3/1 after I got back from Afghan with them was changed from going back there to a MEU float. Marines have almost always acted as the tough fighting, elite shock troops of the military. Put a enemy in front of us, tell us it needs to be destroyed, and it happens (it's also why we can't have nice things lol).

    To the MARSOC thing, and this is just an opinion and observation of the Corps from past experience, but even with the commandant's support, the idea of a "elite unit" within the Corps has always been something that irked a lot of the higher up's since the idea is the Corps is ALREADY a elite fighting force, and having a elite within a elite breeds trouble and takes away from the idea of the Corps already being elite according to them. Can't forget the Corps was the only branch that declined to hand command of it's units like recon and force recon to SOCOM command in the 80's because they didn't like the idea of Marine's being commanded by other branch leaders. Rumsfeld is the one that pushed that the Corps join the club and add a unit to SOCOM. I think having elite units like recon and force recon have always unsettled the more conventional unit commanders despite the need for such units, and a unit like MARSOC just irkes em a bit further. Personally I always had good experiences with guys from Recon and such units! Were they spit and shine polished the way SNCO's ALWAYS want Marines to look? No, but they were good at their jobs and that's what I respected. Became more and more about public image and (often) dumb standards than being a good warrior by the time I decided to get out.
     
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  7. 0699

    0699 Verified Military

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    God, I hope so. It's what we do and what we're good at. As I understand it, we got involved in Iraq for two reasons. 1) It was the only war in town. Marines want to get into the fight and that was where the fight was. 2) We were told to do it, as the Army at the time was too understaffed to support all their commitments. Not making commentary, just what I was told. IMO, we never should have gotten involved in that type of mechanized, far-from-the-ocean warfare. It's not what we do, it's not part of our core competencies, we aren't designed logistically to support it, and the Army is capable of doing it far better than we will ever be. If we allow ourselves to get dragged into being a smaller version of the Army, then what's the point? The Corps might as well disband and roll all Marines into the Army.

    Like Orville Reddenbacker (sp?) said "Do one thing and do it better than anyone else."

    It's not just about turning over Marines to other services or commands. Deep down the Corps is a very insular service. Whenever something like MARSOC rears its head, the question asked by a lot of people in the Corps is "What does this do for The Corps?" Recon Bn and Force are well understood and provide a known capability to the MAGTF. MARSOC on the other hand provides nothing to the MAGTF or FMF. Just the opposite actually, it creates a requirement for the Corps to administratively support (boot camp, MOS schooling, work spaces, housing, medical, etc) MARSOC without returning any direct combat capability to the Corps. AFAIK, MARSOC will never belong to the Corps in a tactical sense; you will never see a MARSOC element being used as part of a MAGTF. They will always be part of the JSOTF operating under the guidance of the SOC theater element, even if embarked on Naby amphibs. Not comparing MARSOC to ANGLICO, but the same thing has happened to ANGLICO repeatedly. Because the main purpose of ANGLICO is to act as a fires support liasion element between the MAGTF/ARG and other services (US Army or foreign military), whenever the budget starts getting cut ANGLICO is disbanded because they provide very limited (obvious) benefit to the Corps.

    I remember when MARSOC was first sold to the Corps. It was said that 0321s would go to MARSOC for 4-5 years and receive a lot of HSLD training at the expense of SOCOM, then return to the FMF and share that training with other Marines. I knew right away it was BS, as the Army had seen how difficult it is to maintain SOF capabilities without it being a full-time MOS.
     
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  8. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    But understanding Recon did not stop the Corps axing the three Recon Companies. Its probably a good thing they have to support MARSOC since its a USSOCOM asset. I contend that two factors come in to play. First the dislike of "special" units in a Corps that is considered "elite" and second the argument that these types of special outfits take good people away from the regular units.

    I think its actually a love-hate relationship. Look at Force Recon. They were practically disbanded in 2006 and roled back in D Companies of Recon Battalions (not the first time this has happened in their history), when MARSOC was establisled, only to come back when Corps found out that they have no control on what MARSOC does, even when elements are embarked with a MEU.

    IMHO, Recon, FR and MARSOC have already proven their worth during the WOT and can all be very usefull in IW environments, so cutting back on them is probably not a wise decision.

    On the other hand its a good thing that now Officers get a secondary MOS of Recon Officer and another one of "SO" Officer with certain established prereqs.
     
  9. goon175

    goon175 Ranger Verified SOF

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    Sounds eerily familiar to Abrams Charter back in the 70's. Put guys into a high speed unit and have them return to the big army to make the rest of the Army better. 25 years or so later, the only guys that regularly returned to the big army were the officers. It's a good concept in theory, but in reality it doesn't work.
     
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  10. SOWT

    SOWT SOWT Verified SOF

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    Maybe they should ask what does this do for the Theater Commander vice what does this do for the Corps?
     
  11. 0699

    0699 Verified Military

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    Maybe. Or maybe I'm not just saying what I want to say correctly.
     
  12. Manolito

    Manolito Lewis B. Puller for todays problems! Verified Military

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    SOWT I sure hear what you are saying but the Marine Corps does not have the support system in place to support troops inland so if you give the area commander the Marines you are also giving him the responsibility to feed and clothe the Marines as well as provide their fuel and ammo because they are not made up to support a battle inland. I am not smart enough to know what is best but I am pretty well versed in the supply chain management of the Corps and the support of her tracked vehicles. The corps has a force afloat that has been set up to do one thing very well. Land take the first miles of dirt and hold for Big Army to arrive. The load manifests of the ships are not even close to inland warfare or sustained warfare. Time will tell how this goes and it will go what ever way the budget goes. :(
     
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  13. goon175

    goon175 Ranger Verified SOF

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    Well, with focus apparently shifting to the PACOM AO, the USMC should have plenty of things to keep itself busy.
     
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  14. Uncle Petey

    Uncle Petey Raider Verified SOF

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    Recon Battalions will shrink with the times and expand with the next war. This is the cycle post-every war. As far as Recon Battalion being necessary, absolutely. The MEF and Division need the Recon assets. What that means is more MEU's and getting back to past mission sets. My personnel feelings about Recon as a whole (especially Force Recon) is this: Recon Battalions are essentially the Ranger Battalions for the Marine Corps. Not the same in every way and way different in many mission sets, but still the same-ish. The Big Marine Corps needs a group of pipe-hitting bad ass's that can go to a troubled AO and take some heat off of the Local units. Essentially a group of fireman to put out fires.

    The USMC needs a Division/MEF level asset that can on a moments notice deploy to a trouble spot and fuck shit up. If you guys are aware of GySgt Blonders Force platoon from 1st Force, thats exactly what they did. 2/7( a huge AO and not much logistical support) was having a rough time in western Afghanistan. The MEF sent that platoon over in two weeks. They proceeded to lay some serious hurt down on the Taliban out west. As a former 0321 now 0372 I am very proud of those guys. I saw them frequently out there, they are solid professionals.

    http://www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck/video/gysgt-brian-blonder-awarded-navy-cross
     
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  15. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    Good post. I am sure members of this board are very familiar with the actions of the particular FR Platoon ;)
     
  16. F.CASTLE

    F.CASTLE Verified Military

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    I had wanted to say something very similar when I first commented on this thread to dknob , however I was a bit skiddish. I didn't want to get into a long argument over comparing Recon to Rangers. (No offense dknob, but I didn't want to offend a brother in arms and Ranger with a comparison, or detract from this thread if it turned into a debate over that) That being said, not only do Recon units support local units, but they are also capable of maintaining a large section of AO themselves, as 1st Recon demonstrated in Sangin.
     
  17. Brian1/75

    Brian1/75 Ranger Verified SOF

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    You know, this confuses me. The main complaint coming from Marine brass about MARSOC was not having control of them and losing a bunch of good Marines. This eventually brought about the return of Force, but the Army doesn't have anymore control over the Ranger Battalions than Marines of MARSOC. As far as I know, a Ranger platoon has never been handed over to a battlespace commander or some division-level command for his personal use. I get needing recon assets. The Army still has LRS units in some shape or form. And sometimes they are used as pipe-hitting bad asses instead of reconnaissance. But is it really that hard to ask some level of commander higher than yours for SOCOM elements? You might not get handed fellow Marines and instead receive SEALs or something. I just feel Marines are completely against jointness. This was apparent to me operating in Marine AOs. I wasn't even anywhere near the level to interact with Marine command, but it was apparent by the buffoonery that would go on at night after we arrived that we were not welcome. Is it so crazy to think Marines might be quelling fires for the Army and vice-versa?
     
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  18. goon175

    goon175 Ranger Verified SOF

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    Oh jeez...we could start an entire other thread on BSO handovers alone...lol
     
  19. Teufel

    Teufel Force Recon Verified SOF

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    I agree but I think the problem we are facing is that throughput issues are making HQMC pressure BRC/RTC to drop standards and produce more 0321s. These cuts should force the Marine Corps to stop giving recon battalions battlespace and start using them more like they should be used. Master Sergeant Blonder is one of my best friends and I am very familiar with that deployment. That is the way Recon Marines should be utilized. It's really about humanitarian assistance operations; Force Recon Marines help bad people get to Muslim heaven.
     
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  20. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    Nicely put, in more ways than one...
     

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