CAMP PENDELTON, CA (Sgt Donovan Lee) – Being an operational and tactical force multiplier is central to what a Special Operations Forces enabler does.
These Marines and sailors, whose specialties range from intelligence to logistics, serve alongside critical skills operators in the most extreme situations and when it comes to core and combat skills they must gain and maintain proficiency to fully integrate into SOF environments.
To meet this requirement, enablers with 1st Marine Special Operations Support Battalion (MSOSB) spent three weeks learning and refining abilities during a Tactical Skills Package (TSP) aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 4-15.
The TSP was designed to teach enablers skills they may need while attached to a Marine Special Operations Team or Company. The training included operating and maintaining a combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC), making surf passages, scout swimming, fast roping, and tactical marksmanship.
This kind of training is important for enablers because it instills in them a solid base of operational skills before attaching to a special operations team, said the TSP’s lead instructor, a CSO with 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion.
During the first week of the package enablers learned transitions and advanced shooting techniques while firing the M9 service pistol and the M4 carbine.
“I learned a lot of the technical skills when it comes to shooting,” said a logistics officer with 1st Marine Special Operations Support Battalion. “I feel a lot more confident in shooting with the pistol and transitioning to the rifle.”
During the next two weeks of the course enablers learned aspects of amphibious operations. They learned nautical navigation, scout swimming techniques, and how to operate and maintain a CRRC.
“I didn’t know anything about (combat rubber raiding crafts) or how to fin or swim with gear prior to coming to this course,” said the logistics officer.
The course was the first that 1st MSOSB has held for enablers and they believe it is something that should endure.
“The TSP needs to continue because we (enablers) get a little taste of what (CSO’s) go through and are doing when we are supporting them,” said the logistics officer.
The logistics officer continued, saying the course also gives enablers the opportunity to build skills they don’t normally practice as part of the conventional Marine Corps. She said throughout the course enablers pushed themselves through various obstacles and situations that are organic to the special operations community.
“Everyone was tired, everyone was hungry and we had some rough days, but overall the biggest thing I walked away with was the importance of team building and working together as a team regardless of rank,” said the logistics officer.