MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command has been implementing changes to its force structure since January in order to unify its capabilities and improve its operability.
The changes highlight the forming of the Marine Special Operations Regiment, which acts as a headquarters element for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalions.
Prior to the changes, 1st and 2nd MSOB, and the Marine Special Operations Advisor Group fell directly under the MARSOC commander, while 3rd and 4th MSOB fell under the MSOAG.
Now, the MSOAG has been redesignated as the MSOR, which falls under the MARSOC commander. Additionally, 4th MSOB was disbanded and its personnel were used to help form the regiment.
“The changes have been made to create three battalions that will all have equal capabilities in direct action, special reconnaissance and foreign internal defense,” said Lt. Col. J. D. Duke, the operations officer for the MSOR.
“Having three like battalions with the same organization, and structure, the same table of equipment, the same skill sets, the same mind set for mission focus will allow MARSOC to engage anywhere in the spectrum where SOCOM is involved,” said Maj. Christopher K. Wales, the executive officer of 2nd MSOB. “It will enable us to succeed.”
Currently, each MSOB is still focusing on their former role as the changes have not been fully implemented, but in the future, each MSOB will be responsible for a region of the world, Duke said.
“The change made to MARSOC was not based on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Duke said. “It was based on the future of MARSOC as a whole.”
The change in force structure also lines up with the new type of operators being produced by the MARSOC Individual Training Course, Duke said.
“By saying these three like battalions are going to have the same capabilities, it means that the school house only has to produce one basic qualified Marine Special operator,” Duke said.
The new regiment also has improved the commands ability to manage assets between the three battalions, Wales said.
“What we’ve seen is an increase in efficiency in operational planning and logistics planning at our level,” Wales said. “It’s simply because there are so many ancillary tasks that the regiment is now responsible for.”