The United States Marine Corps' Maritime Special Purpose Force, or MSPF, are a unique specialized sub-unit that are drawn from the Marine Expeditionary Units' (MEU) major subordinate elements. The United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance detachments, or FORECON, operate in deep reconnaissance, direct action, and the control of supporting arms; to convey military intelligence beyond the means of a commander's area of influence in the battlefield. They operate at such great distances that they are beyond the boundaries, or fan, of any artillery and/or naval gunfire support (NGFS); unlike their Division Recon brethren, whose operations are primarily within the artillery and gunfire support fan. They patrolled in Thua Tin Province until early January, 1967, when a task organized Special Purpose group carried out a prisoner rescue attempt. Historically, the Force Recon companies, detachments and platoons performed both deep reconnaissance and direct action (DA) operations. Both division and force are solely reserved for supporting the infantry, which are directly involved in the commander's force of action in the battlefield, or battlespace shaping. Reconnaissance forces are a valuable asset to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force when the MEF Commander is faced with uncertainty in the battlefield. The obsolete pathfinding operations were taken over by the newer beacons and homing devices.[14]. They may be selected for additional advanced cross-service training from other schools provided by the Special Operations Forces (SOF) units. A month later in January, 1st FORECON met the same fate. Some equipment only fits the needs for one particular mission over another. Before FORECON operators are "Special Operations Capable" they follow the Company's MTP, which underlines the training protocol of the Pre-deployment Training Program (PTP). Major Meyers tested many methods for the 'Recon Platoon' various innovative techniques and evaluated their results for use for parachuting and pathfinding missions, in conjunction of using its heliborne and aircraft wing assets adding 'deeper' reconnaissance penetration capabilities. Two of the newly established Marine divisions, 1st and 2nd Marine Division contained their own scout company. 1st Force Recon Company was deactivated 26 October 2006 and the majority of the personnel were used to create 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion. Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. That 1775 group was known as the Continental Marines, and it wasn’t yet the United States Marine Corps. By the 1990s, the MC-4 and MC-5 Ram Air Parachutes became the feasible choice, as it allows more detailed and accurate landing in smaller areas, easy to control—especially during oscillation of the canopy. An additional and no less important advantage to the T-Cell is that it acts as a training ground for future platoon sergeants. Sting Ray operations were the exact opposite of Key Hole missions with goals more closely in line of offensive strikes, the FORECON operators were heavily armed and used artillery and/or naval gunfire support, if available. 2nd Company Force … They were developing and performing innovative clandestine insertion methods before the Navy SEALs, and the Army's "Green Berets"; techniques such as the submarine locking -in and -out methods, underwater "blow and go" ascends,(NOTE: The first use of scuba, the first lock ins-lock outs, the first use of blow and go ascends, and the first use of the escape trunk for ingress and egress from a submerged submarine underway in the U.S. military was pioneered by U.S. Navy UDT, forebears of the SEALs, in 1947-48. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart. They are capable of performing In-Extremis Hostage Rescue (IHR) but this is no longer a Force Recon mission task. In many cases, foreign maritime forces alike participate in joint exercises or training maneuvers, such as the Royal Thai Marine Corps, British Royal Marines, and Australian Forces. By the end of World War II, the Amphib Recon Battalion terminated its command; its Marines either filled the ranks of other infantry platoons, or folded into the Scout (Tank) companies, and the newly formed division reconnaissance companies. The Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center (SRC) [predecessor to the Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group (SRIG)] was formed within the III Marine Amphibious Force (IIIMAF). At the end of Phase 2 Training, the platoon is completely stood up in all aspects of the long-range reconnaissance mission. Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. Marine expeditionary units are the smallest air-ground task forces (MAGTF) in the United States Fleet Marine Force. This new found capability enabled reconnaissance Marines the extreme advantage of operating further behind enemy lines. United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command that comprises the Marine Corps' contribution to SOCOM. In the mid-1950s, they used the T-10, then later adopting the Capewell canopy release which provided a cut-away to reduce the deadly effect of drag. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate. [1], The MCTU#1's Reconnaissance Platoon, commanded by Captain Joseph Taylor, founded and adopted the more modern 'force reconnaissance' doctrine, methods which were instrumented by Major Meyers. Flyer's Kitbag—used to carry operator's rucksack, ammunition, communications, etc. [14], During the Vietnam War, one of the reconnaissance officers of Code 121, then- Major Alex Lee, brought most of his testing experiences to 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, when he was assigned as the commanding officer in 1969-1970. [5] The Maritime Special Purpose Force (MSPF) are designed for IHR missions for the MEF's subordinate Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) [MEU (SOC)] in its stead. There is however some equipment that is used for both black and green operations, and these pieces of gear are usually combat vests, flak and armor jackets (or systems), and harnesses for use in hasty extraction measures. The second phase of the MTP also takes place during the MEU's PTP Initial Training Phase. Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. The Marine Corp created a system that was more simplified rig that had greater capacity, the Special Personnel Insertion and Extraction (SPIE) rig. The document provides strategic guidance on how the sea services will prevail in day-to-day competition, crisis and conflict over the next decade. The combative and protective gear is used by both recon assets of MAFTF. These Recon Marine conduct target practice and immediate action drill while on stationed on the MEU. high altitude, low opening, or HALO and (-high opening) HAHO parachute insertions.[1]. While Force Recon is afloat, they still remain focused on their self-disciplined training sessions. Some have deployed as platoon sergeants, and some have not. The United States Marine Corps is organized within the Department of the Navy, which is led by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). English: The United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance (Force Recon) units are special-purposes units roughly analogous to the U.S. Army Special Forces and are widely recognized as the "special operations forces" of the United States Marine Corps. And to include FORECON's necessary equipment that are capable of being jumped out of aircraft; and long-range communications due to their operability at greater distances than Division Recon geographically-assigned boundaries. However, what began as a 'key hole' patrol could become a 'sting ray' patrol with little warning. Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. [12] In addition, joint Force Recon and CIA operations go back to the famed MACV-SOG group during the Vietnam War and still exist to this day. Although the test unit was no longer operating, Meyers continued to research and test more innovative methods. [5], The Mercedes-Benz GDT-290 "Interim Fast Attack Vehicle" (IFAV) is a replacement of the Chenowth FAV desert buggy and the modified M-151A2 (MUTT Jeep).—circa 2001, Other training packages are available to mold the Marines into a fully functional Recon unit, including long range patrolling in desert areas, such as Twentynine Palms or MCAS Yuma, mountainous terrain and other environments relevant in peacetime or conflict. Due to the reduced personnel readiness status, HQMC changed the deployment plan and ordered that a Platoon be assigned to deploy with First Battalion, 26th Marines that had been activated at Camp Pendleton. This unique unit reported directly to the landing force commander, providing him important intelligence at his disposal. [5] DRPs gained additional importance in 2006, when all active-duty Force Recon companies were transferred to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and became Marine Special Operations Battalions. They were re-organized or reserved for 'special reconnaissance' assignments that would otherwise help shape the outcome of his battlefield. However, MCTU #1 were testing in methods of inserting reconnaissance teams "deep" in the battlefield. Notable members at this time i… The Marine Corps is organized into four principal subdivisions: Headquarters Marine Corps, the Operating Forces, the Supporting Establishment, and the Marine Forces Reserve. In mid-June the Company (-) was alerted to deploy immediately. Denzel Washington plays a former Force Recon platoon commander, John Creasy, in the suspense/action movie, Man On Fire. They are the opposite of green operations missions, where the Force Recon operators basically "look for trouble". It falls under the command of the 1st Marine Division and the I Marine Expeditionary Force. [6]. [11], Many of the conceptual ideas for Force Recon were pioneered by Major Bruce F. Meyers, the test unit's "Reconnaissance/Pathfinder Project Officer" from MCTU #1's Plans and Development (P&D) Section. Once you complete your training, the following RECON commands will become your new home: • 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton. [9] These companies will assume the traditional deep reconnaissance and supportive arms mission set and will deploy in support of current directive required by the United States Marine Corps. At first, the concept was to be formed into a "Force Recon Battalion"—this battalion would have as many 'force recon' companies as there were division-wing MAGTFs in the Marine operating forces. Returning to North Carolina in March, final preparations were carried out to meet the projected deployment date in May 1966. Upon arrival at Dong Ha in early May the Commanding Officer assumed command of Third Recon Battalion (Forward), which had reconnaissance responsibility for all of Quang Tri Province except the Khe Sahn TAOR (Tactical Area of Operations). The reconnaissance mission within the United States Marine Corps is divided into two distinct but complementary aspects; Marine Division Recon and Force Reconnaissance.. These Marines are firing a modified Springfield .45 ACP, the MEU(SOC) pistol. Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. All amphibious recon Marines [Force and Division] and Corpsmen [IDC Corpsmen and SARC] are provided general issued equipment, these are the weapons that are generally used by both MAGTF Recon assets. For black operations, the Marines carry weapons that are more of the close-quarter combative use; grenades, carbine rifles, sub-machine guns (SMGs), and any tool to use for breaching barricades and doors. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart. A four-man team of Marines simulate in infiltrating a beachhead to gain information about the enemy and its adjacent beaches to help forecast a 'ship-to-shore' landing operation as seen in the 1985 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force, MCB Camp Lejeune, NC image above (from right to left) Team Leader LCPL James Scwarhz, LCPL Lawrence Gentile, CPL Michael Norton and LCPL Samuel Marquet.—example of green operations. The first DRPs were formed in March 1975 after the conclusion of American involvement in the Vietnam War, when the Marine Corps was downsized; Force Recon was reduced to a single regular company. Black operations are the missions that require direct action (DA). At first, the concept was to be formed into a "Force Recon Battalion"—this battalion would have as many 'force recon' companies as there were division-wing MAGTFs in the Marine operating forces. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Whether garrisoned on land or aboard ship, along with their naval counterpart, training is constant while at sea. The unit's various methods of airborne, heliborne, submarine and waterborne insertions and extractions are similar to those of the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, United States Army Rangers, or Air Force Combat Controllers, although Force Recon's missions and tasks do differ slightly with a focus on primarily supporting Marine expeditionary and amphibious operations.[2]. Marine amphibious unit (MAU) was the name used until the late 1980s. The Training Cell (T-Cell) is regulated by the experienced staff non-commissioned officers (SNCOs) of FMF Recon company's Operations Section (S-3). - General Al Gray The United States Marine Corps is assigned by the National Command Authority to be primarily the Department of Defense's expeditionary force-in-readiness, and the Department of the Navy's contingent landing force—amphibious by nature. Volunteers were solicited from throughout the Marine Corps and the first four months were devoted to bringing the company up to strength in personnel. This dual existence now allows the FORECON companies to focus on excelling in their primary intelligence-gathering mission, as well as the VBSS (Visit Board Search and Seizure) side of the specialized raid mission. While cross-trained by the Navy's Master Divers, they learned the operation of the early rebreather systems, and advanced open water swimming. Only the current Marine Division Recon Battalions that exist today hold history reference to the Scout and Sniper Companies. The historical roots of 'Force Recon' companies can be traced back to the antecedent Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion, whose numerous pre-D–Day reconnoitering of enemy beaches during the Pacific campaigns of World War II proved the vitality of the Fleet Marine Force's amphibious reconnaissance doctrine. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays former Force Recon Marine, Chance Boudreaux, in the action movie, Hard Target. The Battalion is based out of Camp Schwab, a satellite base of Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler. Key Hole patrols were designed purely around reconnaissance and surveillance; usually lightly equipped and armed with defensive weapons—evasive techniques were employed to break contact from the enemy should the need arise, avoiding contact with the enemy was paramount. Each Force Reconnaissance company is basically the same, they all contain its command element and Force Recon platoons. Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Even in its formative days in the Marine Corps Test Unit#1, the operators and testers of the Naval Parachute Unit (NPU) at El Centro had tested and sported numerous parachutes, adding modifications and suggestions that soon were adopted by other parachutists. Before 2006, the Marine Corps was the only branch of the Armed Forces that did not have any of its special warfare elements participating in the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), due to confining its special operations capabilities only for the purpose to the Fleet Marine Force. Most of the recon patrols or insertions are either in maritime, amphibious environments or on the ground. More importantly, they have spent 6-months of 'platoon-oriented' training together. They are special operations capable forces deployed to give the commanders low profile, two-platoon surgical emplacement in the accessible littoral regions. These are the main missions that are outlined to some, or all of, the reconnaissance assets in the Marine Corps: Deep Reconnaissance Platoons, or DRPs, are units within Recon Battalions that carry out the role of Force Reconnaissance. Although Force Recon units receive the same equipment as their division recon counterparts, they also have equipment similar to that issued to comparable USSOCOM units. This is to ensure that vital information can always be sent to the commander, and to the S-3/S-6 shop, or similar intelligence collection agencies. The United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions (or commonly called Marine Division Recon) are the Special Operations Capable reconnaissance assets of Marine Air-Ground Task Force that provide division-level ground and amphibious reconnaissance to the Ground Combat Element within the United States Marine Corps. They provide Personal Security Detail (PSD) for critically important personnel. There was no Marine 'Force Recon' at the time.) However, on average, approximately 50% of the platoon will leave, their time in Force having expired.[5]. Infiltrate mission areas by necessary means to include: surface, subsurface and airborne operations. Horizontal & Vertical Cargo Carrier Securing Straps, Recon Marines are portrayed in the 1995 film, Alcatraz is the name of a force recon marine from the video game. Bruce Meyer's 1st FORECON, along with 1st Recon Company and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing were aware of the McGuire and STABO systems that were used by the United States Army's Special Forces and agreed that it had defects and disadvantages. The Company (-) dropped to a not combat ready readiness status. Single Action Release Personal Equipment Lowering Equipment (SARPELS)—The Force Recon operators are equipped with a complete equipment lowering system for both LLSL and MFF parachute operations. However, the companies initially were designed to function under the echelon of the Navy/Marine force commanders (e.g. Although Jones's Marines were all skilled surface swimmers, they usually inserted by boats—mostly due to the multiple radios [primary and contingent] they carried, as relaying communication to the landing force commander was paramount; and time means of sending in a platoon-sized element, with any means of heavy firepower (mortars, machineguns, etc.) For reconnaissance element at the task force level, see, For weapons used by Force Reconnaissance operators, see, FM 7–92, The Infantry Reconnaissance Platoon and Squad (Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infantry), MCRP 2-1C, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Intelligence Dissemination, United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance, "United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions", Learn how and when to remove this template message, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Training Company, United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Selection and Indoctrination, Mk19, Mod 3 40-mm Automatic Grenade Launcher, M240 7.62-mm General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), United States Marine Corps Scout (Tank) and Sniper Company, United States Marine Corps Light Armored Reconnaissance, "Organization of Marine Corps Forces MCRP 5-12D", The 2D Reconnaissance Battalion Association, "Marine Recon adapts to growing mission in Iraq", Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, House Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces, United States Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, When properly task organized with other forces, equipment or personnel, assist in specialized. 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