The USMC Special Operations Capable (SOC) Concept: An Alternative Approach CSC 1992 SUBJECT AREA - National Military Strategy EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Title: The USMC Special Operations Capable (SOC) Concept: An Alternative Approach Author: Major W.J. Morrissey, United States Army Reserve Thesis: The USMC prides itself on an anywhere, anytime "can do" attitude . . . but in reality there is a clear-cut difference in the capabilities, training and performance of the USMC and in the Special Operations community it seeks to emulate. Background: The United States Marine Corps traditionally has been at the forefront of our nations finest warriors. The Corps has always measured its performance with that of other "elite" units. Consequently, the Corps has had to struggle with internal elements that have tried to formalize that elitism. By historically tracing the evolution of the Corps "elite" units, we can glean some of the effects of the incorporation of the MEU (SOC) training and the effects it will have on Marines. In addition, the perception of competition between the MEU (SOC) units and the Special Operations community has caused unnecessary friction. Recommendations are explored to suggest the direction the USMC must follow to cope with the expected changes in the Threat into the 21st Century. Recommendation: The Marine Corps should look to standardize all related special operations training. In addition, the Corps should revise its Title X charter by incorporating its amphibious capability as a unique mission; a special operations mission. Therefore, the Corps should become the proponent service for all special operations missions involving Maneuver from the Sea. THE USMC SPECIAL OPERATIONS CAPABLE (SOC) CONCEPT AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH Thesis: The USMC prides itself on an anywhere, anytime "can do" attitude. . .but in reality there is a clear-cut difference in the capabilities, training and performance of the USMC and in the Special Operations community it seeks to emulate. I. Fictional scenario II. History of USMC "Elite Units" A. Pre WWII B. WWII C. Korea D. Vietnam E. Recent episodes F. Attitudes of higher command to "elite" units within corps III. Development of USMC Special Operations Capable concept A. Origins B. Development of capability C. Evolution of the program D. Mission capabilities IV. Comparison of Capabilities with the SOCOM community A. Levels of training B. Incorporation of SOC concept as an option to NCA V. Current Issues A. Inter-Service Friction B. Doctrinal Insufficiencies C. Training Resource Shortfalls D. Roles and Missions E. Marine Corps 2000 VI. Recommendations VII. Fictional Scenario THE USMC SPECIAL OPERATIONS CAPABLE (SOC) CONCEPT: AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH by W.J. Morrissey Patch Barracks, Stuttgart Headquarters, European Command (EUCOM) 0230 Hours, 21 December 1994 Colonel Clyde Butcher was just finishing his mid-tour situation report as the Senior Watch Officer in the "war room" at EUCOM Headquarters when his intercom rang. "Butcher here." "Sir, we have a FLASH precedence coming over the secure line." "Thanks, Simons, send it through and alert the CINC's deputy that we have a PEGASUS inbound." As the call was placed, Colonel Clyde S. Butcher, 166-25-9934, U.S. Army, was convinced that this was the information the Old Man was looking for. Over the last three months he had been tracking the locations, activities and psychological profiles of the leadership of the most radical terrorist group to operate in the EUCOM AOR in a long time. The group called itself the Nidal Jihad, after a terrorist hero of the late 1980s. The NJs, as they were called, were as violent an organization as had ever existed. . .and were just as unpredictable. Now Butcher hoped that this message might provide the location of the NJs main base camp. "Sir, here's the dispatch. Do you want the standard distribution'?" "Yes, thanks." FLASH TOP SECRET 045521Z DEC 94 FROM: //CJCS/DSCOPS-J3/ALEXANDRIA VA// TO: //CDR, EUCOM/PATCH BARRACKS, STUTTGART,GERMANY//, INFO: SEE DISTRIBUTION SUBJECT: LOCATION/PROBABLE DISPOSITIONS OF NIDAL JIHAD REF: A. MESSAGE, DTD 065610Z DEC 94, SAB. B. MESSAGE, DTD 145519Z NOV 94, SUBJECT: SUSPECTED BASECAMP LOCATION 1. IAW REF A, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PROVIDED. 2. ELEMENTS OF THE NIDAL JIHAD ORGANIZATION HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED AS THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE HIJACKING OF TWA FLIGHT 224 ENROUTE FROM ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT TO LONDON, UK. THE AIRCRAFT IS A BOEING 747-400, WITH AN ESTIMATED 267 PASSENGERS ON BOARD. IT IS BEING DIVERTED TO THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LOCATED IN BANJUL, THE REPUBLIC OF GAMBIA. 3. COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE TERRORISTS HAVE INDICATED THE FOLLOWING DEMANDS ONCE THE AIRCRAFT LANDS IN THE GAMBIA: (A) THAT AN INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION BROADCAST SIGNAL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALLOW A SPOKESMAN FROM THE AIRCRAFT TO VOICE THE HIJACKERS DEMANDS, (B) THAT THE THREE MEMBERS OF THE NIDAL JIHAD ORGANIZATION CURRENTLY IMPRISONED AND AWAITING EXTRADITION IN MONROVIA, LIBERIA BE RELEASED AND REUNITED WITH THE HIJACKERS AND (C) A LIST OF ADDITIONAL ANCILLARY ITEMS. THE HIJACKERS HAVE INDICATED THAT IF THEIR DEMANDS HAVE NOT BEEN MET THREE HOURS AFTER LANDING IN THE GAMBIA, A HOSTAGE WOULD BE EXECUTED STARTING AT THE THIRD HOUR AND THEN EVERY HOUR AFTER UNTIL RESOLUTION. 4. INTELLIGENCE REPORTS HAVE CONFIRMED THE LOCATION AND SIZE OF THE NIDAL JIHAD BASECAMP DESCRIBED IN REF B. THE GOVERNMENT OF SENEGAL HAS AUTHORIZED U.S. "LIMITED POLICE ACTIONS" TO INTERDICT THIS TARGET PROVIDED SENEGALESE AIRSPACE IS NOT VIOLATED AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE IS MINIMIZED AND THE GOVERNMENT IS COMPENSATED. THE BASECAMP LOCATION IS CONFIRMED IAW REF B, WITHIN 2.2 KILOMETERS OF THE SENEGAL COAST. 5. THE NATIONAL COMMAND AUTHORITY WILL SEND, VIA SECURE FAX, THE NSDD AND OTHER INTELLIGENCE DATA AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE. CABLE NEWS NETWORK HAS AGREED TO PROVIDE THE CREW AND SYSTEMS FOR THE GAMBIAN BROADCAST. CNN CREWS WILL BE ON STATION AT THE BANJUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BY 0630Z. 6. THE ASSETS OF THE CIA/DIA ARE AVAILABLE AS NEEDED. INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE GAMBIAN ARMY/SECURITY FORCE IS UNABLE TO ASSIST IN ANY COUNTER-TERRORIST OPERATION, NOR WILL THE GAMBIAN GOVERNMENT ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY OR CIVILIAN LIVES. IT WILL, HOWEVER, ALLOW ANY OPERATIONS AGAINST THESE TERRORISTS PROVIDED THAT IT WILL NOT, REPEAT, WILL NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVE THE GAMBIAN GOVERNMENT, OR MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE GAMBIAN MILITARY FORCES. 7. PREPARE/PLAN RECOMMENDED COURSES OF ACTION (C/A) FOR A SIMULTANEOUS INTERDICTION OF THE NIDAL JIHAD TERRORIST BASECAMP IN SENEGAL, AND THE INTERDICTION OF THE TERRORIST HIJACKERS IN BANJUL, THE GAMBIA. STANDARD CAM SITREPS APPLY. CJCS SENDS. Approximately twenty five minutes later, General Amos T. Sedgewick, USA, was receiving his "upbrief" from his EUCOM staff. "So in effect what you are telling me gentlemen," Sedgewick concluded, "is that we can mount the assets needed to prepare for a counter-terrorist strike in Gambia, but we don't have enough in-house assets for a simultaneous strike in both places." Colonel Bob Drummond, the EUCOM J-3 stood up. "In essence, General, that is correct." Sedgewick's eyes narrowed, "Well then, Bob, how soon can I get additional assets?" "Sir, our estimates are that additional forces can be made available within 24 hours." "That's great, Colonel Drummond," said Sedgewick icily, "but I believe that I will have a hard time explaining the twenty dead hostages to the President." As the silence lingered, Bob Drummond pointed to the briefing map. "Sir, there is one other asset within easy reach of that basecamp. I believe that we can coordinate the use of the Marine units in the western Med. As I recall, they have just received the latest retrofit to the LCAC platform, making it the ideal platform to breach that coastline. "OK Bob, let's give it a shot. The Chairman is waiting for our response. I'm really uneasy about this. . . my ass is on the line big time. This type of operation requires the type of skill, timing and coordination those damn snake- eaters have. Even if this Marine outfit is available, how can I be sure that they are capable?" The USMC prides itself on an anywhere, anytime "can do attitude. . .but in reality there is a clear-cut difference in the capabilities, training and performance of the Corps and in the Special Operations community it seeks to emulate. BACKGROUND The history of the "elite" forces of the USMC can be traced back to the very origins of the Corps. From a historical perspective, every member, past and present, has viewed the Corps as an elite unit. In a more objective examination, the USMC was struggling for roles and missions during the 1930s when the principles of Amphibious Operations were conceived and developed. It was this very concept that drove the major pre-WWII emphasis toward perfecting the theories and practical application of amphibious warfare, which, in turn drove the type of units that would be the focus of that effort. The situation, as the planners saw it, required specially trained units for very specific combat missions. As the number of nations involved in the titanic struggle of WWII grew, those sitting on the periphery observed the successes and failures of military operations, and adjusted their forces accordingly. The United States was no exception, and in many respects, the United States Marine Corps provided an almost ideal environment for these experiments. For example, the Corps was one of the first services to form Glider Forces, the Defense Battalions, Barrage Balloon Battalions, and the ill-fated "Para-Marines." One of the little known incidents of the Second World War was the inclusion of parachute qualified Marines who were dropped behind German occupied territory in France in a valiant attempt to train, organize and lead resistance forces. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), precursor to the CIA, selected and trained these brave men for their arduous missions. (11) Nonetheless the inspiring and controversial USMC "elite" unit was formed at the insistence of LTCOL Evans F. Carlson, who was able to capture the imagination of the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The idea matured during the two years prior to the U.S. entry into the war. The British Commandos executed raids against German installations on the European continent and in Africa. The raids suggested a certain audacity which had an immediate appeal in the United States, especially after Pearl Harbor, during the six months when American fortunes were very low. Among those intrigued by the idea of forming a U.S. version of the commandos was President Roosevelt. (16: 1) Accordingly, LTCOL Carlson enlisted the aid and experience of the President's son, Captain James Roosevelt, USMCR. Approximately one month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Captain Roosevelt wrote a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) proposing the formation of a unit that eventually became known as the Marine Raider Battalion. There were certain parallels between the concept of the Raider Battalions and those of the British Commando. President Roosevelt noted the successes of the British elite forces in Europe as well as the Chinese (Communist) Eighth Route Army in northern China while fighting the Japanese. It was felt that a similar "hit and run" tactic would cause a disruptive influence upon the operational strategies of the Imperial General Staff as the Japanese lines of communications (LOCs) were extended. It was this same "people's army" that LTCOL Carlson had worked with while in China, and had given him new insight in how to train, lead and motivate subordinates. Carlson soon applied these experiences in the way he led his forces. With the formulation and integration of the two new Raider Battalions, the following missions were assigned: . . .mission of the. . .units was threefold: to be the spearhead of Amphibious Landings by larger forces on beaches generally thought to be inaccessible; to conduct raiding expeditions requiring great elements of surprise and high speed; and to conduct guerrilla type operations for protracted periods behind enemy lines.(16:3-4) In addition to disrupting personnel and training in regular units, the formation of the Raider Battalions generated a variety of requests for new and exotic equipment. Typical requests were for riot type shotguns, Lewis machine guns, collapsing bicycles, chain saws, scaling ropes, rubber boats, bangalore torpedoes, and sufficient automatic pistols to issue one per Raider. (16: 5) Despite the successes of the Raiders in such places as Guadalcanal-Tulagi, Makin Island, Aola Island, Viru Harbor and New Georgia, the strategies in the employment of the Raider units had changed. By late 1943, the nature of the Pacific operations had changed to a strategy of the application of overwhelming firepower to seize key island approaches, which would then be used as a staging point for additional operations. Due to the domination of U.S. naval forces in the region, the most strongly held islands were simply bypassed and cut off from their logistic support base. Consequently, this change in operational strategy coupled with a decreased demand for Raider type units could no longer justify the required Raider allocation of resources, men and materiel. Coupled with the latent resentment, or at best, apathy, of the Corps senior command, the die was cast for their eventual disbandment. The raiders' skills became superfluous as the primary military objective was to wrest control of island groups from enemy forces. Harassment and distraction became less important. The nemesis of the (raider) units was rooted in a single inescapable factor--certain elements of the Pacific war did not develop as the planners had foreseen. The assault and capture of small, heavily defended land areas became the objective, and it was apparent that the (raiders) were, at best, no better suited to the task than were regular Marine infantry forces.(16:78) Following WWII, the Marine Corps continued to refine its capabilities in the amphibious warfare arena-band developed the concept of rotary wing maneuver (Vertical Envelopment). These developments evolved the force structure of the Marine Corps into the todays Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF). The MAGTF concept quickly became "battle tested" in the mountains of Korea, where the MAGTF was decisive in holding the line at Pusan. There was, however, no further inclination to develop "special units." During the mid 1960s, as the Marine Corps participation expanded into the quagmire of Vietnam, came the emergence of the Force Reconnaissance units, or Force Recon. Although the entire Corps fought with distinction in Southeast Asia, the exploits of Force Recon units seemed to capture the imagination of those proponents for the organization of "special units." It was not until the reemergence of the U.S. Army's Special Forces during the early 1980s and the dramatic shift in focus of the orientation of the war planners that a sincere interest in the capabilities and potential of special operations forces occurred. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE USMC SPECIAL OPERATIONS CAPABLE (SOC) CONCEPT A significant shift in thinking was dramatized by the foresight of then (1983) Deputy Secretary of Defense William H. Taft IV, when he stated that: "U.S. national security requires the maintenance of Special Operations Forces (SOFs) capable of conducting the full range of special operations on a world wide basis, and the revitalization of these forces must be pursued as a matter of national urgency." (2:16) This assessment was predicated on a number of factors, but was primarily focused on Third World friction, especially in the absence of a potential U.S.-Soviet Union confrontation (Fig 1). This "new world" would be affected by the following conditions: * For every two persons on earth in 1975, there will be three in 2000; * Four-fifths of the world's population will live in less developed countries; * Urbanization will progress dramatically, particularly in less, developed countries; * There will be fewer resources to go around; * The environment will have lost important life-supporting capabilities; and * The world will be more vulnerable both to natural disaster and the disruptive effects of war, yet the tensions that could lead to war will have multiplied. (6:A-1) This would include the proliferation of arms, and in particular, the weapons of mass destruction. In light of the directives to build a force capable of dealing with the emerging threat as well as managing, budgeting and administering that operation under a single joint billet, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was organized. Despite an inherent capability to perform a variety of special operations missions, the Marine Corps steadfastly remained outside the purview of SOCOM. Perhaps, it was a reflection of the past history regarding the maverick approach of LTCOL Carlson in the organization of the Raiders, nonetheless, the Marine Corps "refused to play." Recognizing the political consequences of that action, Click here to view image General P. X. Kelley, CMC, directed Fleet Marine Force-- Atlantic (FMFLANT) to conduct a detailed in-house study that demonstrated that: * the Marine Corps possessed an inherent capability to perform Special Operations in a Maritime environment * certain initiatives could be taken to enhance resident capabilities * demonstrated advantages of optimizing the Marine Corps inherent capabilities to offer the National Command Authority (NCA) a complementary capability to existing services and joint special operations capabilities (Fig 2) Consequently, it was clear that a number of these missions were capabilities executable as part of an existing MAGTF structure. Therefore, training in FMFLANT, focused on the development, documentation and enhancement of these skills oriented towards the smallest forward deployed element, the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Doctrinally, the Marine Corps Combat Development Command spearheaded the publication of the MAGTF Warfighting Center Concept Publication Number 8-1 (WCCP 8-1)) which provided the guidance to Fleet Marine Force (FMF) commanders. The publication focused on the methodology for institutionalizing the MEU (SOC) concept and should be "used in the formulation of training, organizational, doctrinal and acquisition programs." (17:i) Additionally, SOC missions were identified, beyond those conventional missions assigned to a MEU. In order to be considered a bonifide MEU (SOC), the Click here to view image following capabilities were assigned: * Amphibious Raids * Limited Objective Attacks * Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) * Show of Force Operations * Reinforcement Operations * Security Operations * Mobile Training Teams (MTT) * Civil-Military Operations - Humanitarian/Civil Assistance in Disaster Relief * Tactical Deception Operations * Fire Support Control * Counter-Intelligence Operations * Initial Terminal Guidance * Electronic Warfare/Signal Intelligence * Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) * Clandestine Recovery Operations * Tactical Recovery of Aircraft, Equipment and Personnel * Specialized Demolition Operations * In-Extremis Hostage Recovery (17:2-3 to 2-5) The listing below is for additional/proposed missions: * Airfield Seizure * Gas and Oil Platforms (GOPLAT) * Maritime Interdiction Operations * Reconnaissance and Surveillance (12 : encl 1) DeterminIng the nature of what constitutes Special Operations, by definition, changed from an environmentally oriented missions (jungle, desert, etc. ) to types. (raids, unconventional warfare) to a form of maneuver (counter-terrorist tactical recovery). This broad interpretation now encompasses the definition espoused by JCS Publication 1: Operations conducted by specially trained, equipped, and organized DOD forces against strategic or tactical targets in pursuit of national military, political, economical or psychological objectives. These operations may be conducted during periods of peace or hostilities. They may support conventional forces\or they may be prosecuted independently when the use of conventional forces is either inappropriate or infeasible. (17:2) The apparent success of the MEU (SOC.) program was so well received In FMFLANT that an aggressive expansion program occurred, particularly when the new CMC, General A. M. Gray embraced the SOC concept as a major factor in improving the training and readiness of deploying forces. THE EVOLUTION OF THE MEU (SOC) - 1984 TO THE PRESENT Over the last five years, the MEU (SOC) program has improved the readiness of forward deployed units through the increase in size of the combat forces assigned in order to maximize (ground) combat power; increase the individual combat skills of Marines assigned to those units: define hard earned success and publish that data as a cornerstone document for training standardization in the Marine corps. When General Gray directed publication of FMFM 1 -- Warfighting, the emphasis was placed on maneuver oriented combat, stressing the cohesiveness of a well trained and led force -- in many respects, the hallmark of the MEU (SOC). The successes shown by the MEU (SOC) units during operation "Just Cause" (Panama), "Desert Storm/Desert Shield", "Sharp Edge" (LIBERIA) and "Eastern Exit" (Somalia) underscore the importance of these short-notice "come as you are" operations. The Somalian NEO was particularly noteworthy, not only, because it was "a model for the kind of short-notice contingency they (USMC) expect to address increasingly (more) often now that the Cold war is over. . . " but because it highlights the short chased planning and execution required for success. (9 : A21) "Eastern Exit" was initially overshadowed by the events in the Persian Gulf. However, the gravity of the situation at the U.S. Embassy was so desperate that the Marine Commander, "Col. J. J. Doyle decided to launch his helicopters from the unprecedented distance of 466 miles offshore." (9:A21) Despite the distances and some technical complications, the NEO was executed flawlessly. In evaluating the capabilities of all the services, only the Marine Corps has the inherent mix of capabilities available for use in complex special operations. Additionally, the Marine Corps has historically based their operational capability upon the successful implementation of joint operations under a single commander. Until recently, the focus on operations, particularly in the training environment, did not emphasize joint operations. It was not until joint operations were mandated with the implementation of Goldwater-Nichols Act that all services were tasked to work together. This relationship was traditionally formed under a maritime commander, usually as part of a Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander, or Commander Amphibious Task Force (ATF). As a result, the capabilities of a MAGTF lend themselves capable of performing a variety of special operations. CURRENT ISSUES Despite the programs success there are a number of problems associated with the MEU (SOC) concept that have tarnished its luster. The problems include, but are not limited to the following: * Inter-Service Friction * Doctrinal Insufficiencies * Training Resource Shortfalls * Marine Corps 2000 INTER-SERVICE FRICTION There is an undercurrent of inter-service friction Involving the SOC concept that is due to perceptions, both real and imagined, and are coupled with a sense of increased competition for a rapidly diminishing defense dollar. It was clear that the focus of our senior civilian and military\Ieadership, of the mid I980s, drove the resurgence of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) concept. When the United States Marine Corps took a different tact and subsequently began their own SOC program, it paved the way for counterproductive inter-service friction. As an example, there is a great deal of agitation over the discussion of the term "MEU (SOC)." Paraphrasing some of the issues voiced as part of this research effort, this author has noted such objections as: "the very nature of Special Operations missions requires extensive intelligence, both pre and post mission. . . mission planning is relegated to the smallest element and then centralized at the higher staff level. . . the level of individual training is often of a higher caliber than anything that the USMC could attain." (Fig 3) In addition, by doctrine, all SOF operators must incorporate the "Special Operations Imperatives" into their mission planning and execution if their forces are to be used effectively. These SO Imperatives are: * Understand the operational environment * Recognize political implications * Facilitate interagency activities * Engage the threat discriminately * Consider long-term effects * Ensure legitimacy and credibility of SO activities * Anticipate and control psychological effects * Apply capabilities indirectly * Develop multiple options * Ensure long-term sustainment * Provide sufficient intelligence * Balance security and synchronization (4:2-15) Consequently, the argument that a MEU (SOC) staff can integrate these imperatives into a notional six hour planning cycle strains the credibility of the SOC concept. Despite the objections, no discussion ever centered upon the capabilities of the Corps, or more importantly, those roles assigned that clearly were the purview and expertise of the Marine forces. Fundamentally, the nature of the objections voiced concerning the SOC concept is a process that would validate those skills via standardization of both the education of those Marines in the program and then in the Click here to view image application of some demonstrated method of testing or evaluation that will clearly demonstrate the skills required for operations. DOCTRINAL INSUFFICIENCIES With the integration of the SOC concept in 1984, the Marine Corps has been struggling with the identification of specific roles and missions for inclusion in the SOC forum. Originally, eighteen missions were standardized for the MEU (SOC) beyond the traditional MEU operational capabilities. These missions have since been expanded by four (12:encl 1). Despite an attempt to standardize the program via the establishment of the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) office and for training issues, the establishment of the Special Operations Training Group (SOTG) for each coast, it was not until 1989 that the FMF Commanders standardized the procedures for conducting training and operations for MEU (SOC)s throughout the Corps. The landmark documents were MEU(SOC) OPERATIONS PLAYBOOK and the MEU (SOC) TRAINING HANDBOOK (VOL I -- IV). Since that time, there has not been a standardized, published document that clearly identified the individual, collective and unit objectives in training towards a clear-cut TASK, CONDITION and STANDARD. As a result, many of the SOC Exercises (SOCEX) are subjective evaluations based upon ad hoc performance criteria, focused primarily upon integrated staff planning. At the present time, a MCRES Evaluation format has been drafted for approximately 25 percent of the SOC missions. TRAINING RESOURCE SHORTFALLS Tied into the issues of doctrine and standardization are the integration of all elements of the MAGTF in support of MEU (SOC) operations. Currently, there is deep concern over the length and intensity of the 26 week MEU (SOC) predeployment training cycle. This cycle is a tremendous consumer of valuable training resources and coupled with (up to) a six month deployment, severely erodes the "quality of life" standards for many families of those assigned to the MEU. Although this age old question pits training versus readiness versus home and family, the fact remains that this issue will become more pronounced if the size of the Corps is diminished while the deployment commitments are not. Potentially, a MEU (SOC) could either be conducting intensive pre-deployment training or on deployment. Correspondingly, reenlistments, unit transfers and marital/morale problems will erode the very fabric of unit cohesion. In the near future, HQMC intends to relook "the length and content of MEU (SOC) predeployment training. In the interim recommend that the current 26 week MEU (SOC) predeployment training cycle be retained. . ." (14:3) ROLES AND MISSIONS To many observers, the Marine Corps appears to be struggling in justifying its presence as a forward deployed force. In reality, the capabilities of the MAGTF allow a maximum amount of operational flexibility to an area CINC. The shift in focus from the classic AirLand High Intensity Conflict (HIC) battle of the central European plain has been replaced by a more moderate Mid Intensity Conflict (MIC) to a highly probable Low Intensity Conflict (LIC). Far more plausible missions would include Show of Force, NEO, Peacekeeping Operations and Nation Building in the form of humanitarian/disaster relief. Although a unique and necessary force, the USMC has always appeared to try and emulate its land based giant "sister", the U. S. Army. In many respects, the Marine Corps is far more capable of making the adjustments to the changing threat than any other service. Success in this arena is dependent upon enhancing the inherent capabilities of the MAGTF. MARINE CORPS 2000 The United States Marine Corps as an entity and a service is unparalleled. There is no other organization in the world that is capable of launching and sustaining sea based operations as consistently or on a scale of the Corps. Employed as a MAGTF, it has proven its unique "maneuver from the sea" doctrine continually over the last fifty years. Critics state that amphibious operations are outdated, technologically obsolete "dinosaurs" that are no longer valid. Specific examples include the fact that these same forces were not utilized in their primary mission in the most recent Desert Storm conflict. A counter argument may be that although an amphibious operation indeed was not made, no one bothered to tell the Iraqi forces, who took the threat seriously enough to stage approximately twelve divisions in a reinforced defensive posture in order to secure the Kuwaiti coastline. "Just the threat of an amphibious landing by U.S. Marines in Kuwait and the subsequent deception operation committed thousands of Iraqi troops to that defense. . . that might have otherwise opposed U.S. forces on another flank." (10) Clearly the secret and success of the Corps has been its amphibious capability. In that light, one is predisposed to concur that this amphibious capability is unique and organic only to the Corps. Therefore, it remains the one capability that no other U.S. force can duplicate. If agreement can be reached on this fundamental issue, then this unique capability would certainly lend credence to the theory that amphibious raids/amphibious operations are, by their very nature, special operations. Based upon this viewpoint, a corresponding adjustment should be annotated to Title X U.S.C. 5063: The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained, and equipped to provide Fleet Marine Forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign.(6:3-6) The Marine Corps shall be the preeminent force in the employment of tactics, techniques, equipment and implementation of its Special Operations mission--Maneuver from the Sea. Further, to facilitate a smooth integration of amphibious raids/operations as a part of the special operations matrix, would be to readjustment the title of MEU (SOC), and designate those forces by what they really do--the Marine version of the U.S. Army Rangers--the Marine Raiders. Contrary to the opposition formed against the concept of the Raiders in early WWII, sufficient time has elapsed to heal all previous (USMC) wounds. Further, a galvanization of support would occur from those veterans who recalled the exploits of the early Raiders, and from Congressmen and their staffers, who would finally be able to distinguish what the Raiders could accomplish. Perhaps a form of compromise could be attained with the SOCOM critics who viewed the SOC term as a misnomer. Last but not least consider the impact on recruiting and retention in the Corps. The Raider Battalions would form the backbone of the Corps Ground Combat Element (GCE) and qualified candidates would earn special incentives commensurate with their extremely intensive deployment and training regimens. The incentives would replace the higher rank structure that could jeopardize the entire Corps OM&N budget. All Raiders would eventually participate/graduate from a qualification school and return to their units. Since Title X authority would authorize more training and operations funding, these additional training requirements, in theory, would be absorbed. In addition, cadre for the initial training could be formed from some SOCOM assets--as later students would inevitably come from the SOCOM community itself.. Standardization of all training, operations and concepts would follow along the lines of published Department of the Army Field Manuals (as a model) in order to cite specific Task--Condition--Standards for all levels of training. (3:1-6) Further, a standardized, detailed training and evaluation program would be published. This publication would be consistent with such individual and collective training programs as FXP6 (Confidential) or the Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP). Validation exercises, similar to those advocated by SOCOM in conformance to Goldwater-Nichols legislation would be conducted by the FMFs, resulting In mandatory inter-service training and cooperation. RECOMMENDATIONS Over the next three years will establish the structure of the forces to carry forward into the 21st century. Clearly, the key to understanding the dynamics of the coming threat is to understand what it is not. "Even when events like the Sino--Soviet split or the war between China and Vietnam indicated that communism was far from monolithic, we could be certain that the Kremlin was the ultimate enemy. And, while we disagreed over the means and ways of national security strategy, nearly all Americans considered the demise of the Soviet Unions power the ultimate strategic objective." (13:22) Since the early 1930s, the strength and purpose of the USMC has been its unique capability pertaining to maneuver from the sea. The time has come to return, with vigor, to that concept and use it as a springboard for the challenges to come. Whitehouse Press Room Washington, D. C. 011 7 Hours, 22 December 1994 Martin Fitzgerald, the White House Press Secretary, studied the document in his hand. "Are they ready?," he asked his assistant. "Yes, sir. They are all seated and the networks are into their promos. You can start anytime you' re ready." Fitzgerald, a portly, middle-aged veteran of the press wars, took his last gulp of coffee, absentmindedly palmed his bald pate and walked out into the press room. "Ladies and Gentlemen, the White House Press Secretary." Clearing his throat, Fitzgerald adjusted the microphone and winked at Cyril Soames, the matriarch of the press club, who in deference to her age and power, always sat in the front row. "Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the President of the United States, I have a brief statement to read. Upon completion, a copy of it will be made available to you as you leave. I will not entertain any questions at this time. At approximately ten minutes after midnight, Eastern Standard Time, a combined military force consisting of U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces conducted simultaneous operations along portions of the west coast of Africa. Intelligence reports are incomplete at this time, however, the following -facts are known. The five terrorists, allegedly from the Nidal Jihad organization, who hijacked TWA Flight 224 and had it taken to the international airport at Banjul, have been killed. There are no reports of U.S. casualties at the moment--you will recall, however, that four hostages were brutally murdered by the terrorists earlier in the day. Simultaneously, a USMC Raider Battalion conducted an amphibious operation along the coast of the west African country of Senegal in order to interdict the suspected basecamp of the Nidal Jihad. Reports at this time are incomplete. However, the Raiders utilized naval surface craft, the Landing Craft Air Cushioned or LCACs in order to conform to the wishes of the government of Senegal concerning airspace sovereignty. Reports at this time indicate complete destruction of the basecamp and its facilities, with an estimated number of enemy casualties at around eighty-five. Marine casualties are considered "light", with no servicemen confirmed missing or killed in action at this time. Further updates will follow as they are made available. I thank you all for coming at this late hour." BIBLlOGRAPHY 1. All Hands, Magazine of the U.S. Navy. Arlington, VA: Navy Internal Relations Activity. December, 1987, 4-47. 2. Anderson, Jr., LtCol A.E., USMC(Ret). "The Corps and Special Operations." Marine Corps Gazette. December, 1985, 16-17. 3. Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP) 31-807- 32MTP. Mission Training Plan for the Special Forces Company: Direct Action. Washington, DC: Headquarters, Department of the Army. October 1989, 1-1 to 4-6. 4. Field Manual 100-25. Doctrine for Army Special Operations Forces (Approved Final Draft). Fort Bragg, NC: Commander, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. April, 1991, 1-1 to 10-12. 5. Fleet Marine Force 1 Warfighting. Washington, DC: Headquarters, United States Marine Corps. March, 1969. 6. Fleet Marine Force 1-2 The Role of the Marine Corps in the National Defense. Washington, DC: Headquarters, United States Marine Corps. June, 1991. 7. Fleet Marine Force RP 1-11 Fleet Marine Force Organization 1990. Washington, DC: Headquarters, United States Marine Corp's. February 1990. 8. FXP 6 (Confidential) Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Exercises. Department of the Navy. September 1989. 9. Gellman, B. "Amid Winds of War, Daring U.S. Rescue Got Little Notice." The Washington Post. January 5, 1992, A21. 10. Jenkins, Major General, Dir Intell Div, HQMC. Professional education lecture on his role as Commander, Landing Forces during Operation Desert Storm/Shield, CSC Quantico, VA. February 19, 1992. 11. Kuralt, C., Columbia Broadcasting Company Television Broadcast during the 1992 Olympic Games. February 19, 1992. 12. MAGTF Special Operations Capable, Standardization Conference Paper. Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, Washington, DC. January, 1992, 1 to Encl 4. 13. Metz, Steven, "US Strategy and the Changing LIC Threat." Military Review. June, 1991, 21-29. 14. Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Office, Position Paper on MEU (SOC) predeployment Training Cycle. 20 September 1991, 1-4. 15. Stone, Michael, "Strategic Force - Strategic Vision for the 1990s and Beyond." Headquarters, Department of Army, Washington, DC. January, 1992. 16. Updegraph, C.L. Jr. Special Marine Corps Units of World War II. Washington, DC: Historical Division, United States Marine Corps. 1972, 1-104. 17. Warfighting Center Concept Publication 8-1, Operational Concept for Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable). September, 1990, 1-1 to 4-5.
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