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USMC SOF Company Expelled From Afghanistan

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The Marines attached to MARSOC are pretty much removed from the USMC which is anathema to our thinking but I think had to be done for political reasons. They are senior NCOs and officers and pretty much are off on their own and are subject to a longer PCS tour then your average Marine because of the extensive training they've got to do - there are no 19 y/o Lance coolies with them. They are not Force Recon.

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From Strategy Page:


The marines were removed because their reaction to the ambush used "Iraq Rules", and not the less violent procedures employed in Afghanistan. There's more to it than that. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) has long had an uneasy relationship with the U.S. Marine Corps. SOCOM was also uneasy with the leadership of this Special Operations company, and was hoping that the unit would perform well in Afghanistan. The March 4th incident became big news, and that made it difficult for the marine unit to do well in the "winning hearts and minds" department.


This incident is part of an older problem. The marines finally got around to working with SOCOM (Special Operations Command) in late 2005, when it was agreed that they would create a marine special operations command. The Marine Corps had long resisted such a step, largely because of its belief that marines are inherently superior warriors, capable of highly specialized missions. This attitude began to change during the fighting in Afghanistan, when marines were assigned to support SOCOM troops there.




As a result of that experience, marines were attached to SOCOM for liaison and observation purposes. In 2004, the marines organized a company sized unit of commandos, Detachment One, using volunteers from their Force Recon troops, the closest thing the marines had to commandos. Detachment One was sent to Iraq, where it's performance convinced SOCOM that marines could operate at the SOCOM level.


As a result, Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was organized. This unit has some 2,600 marines, organized into a headquarters, a two battalion Special Operations Regiment, a Foreign Military Training Unit, and a Marine Special Operations Support Group.


The only people the marines had who were trained to SOCOMs highest standards were the troops in the four Force Recon companies (one of them a reserve unit). So, naturally, the marines recruited heavily among Force Recon units in order to build MARSOC. As a result, the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company was disbanded. In effect, an enhanced version of the 2nd Force Recon was created with the formation of Fox company within the new MARSOC 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion. The two Special Operations Battalions provide a combination of services roughly equal to what the U.S. Army Special Forces and Rangers do. The marines feel that, for some missions, Fox Company marines can perform jobs that SEALs do.




The marines do not intend to just provide some additional Special Forces and Ranger manpower, but people who can do those jobs, but with the addition of amphibious capabilities. Eventually, there are to be nine companies in the two Special Operations Battalion. So far, only four of those companies have been formed. The company that was banished from Afghanistan was the first of these companies formed.

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The Other Shoe Droppeth:


Marine Corps relieves commander of unit


WASHINGTON (Map, News) - The Marine Corps has relieved the commander of its first deployed special operations company, which was expelled from Afghanistan after members shot at civilians in response to an ambush. The Afghan government said 10 civilians were killed.


Maj. Cliff Gilmore, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), confirmed in response to questions from The Examiner that the commander, a major, was relieved. Gilmore said the company's senior enlisted Marine was also removed on Tuesday.


He said the command's top officer, Maj. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, was this week in the Central Command theater, where the company remains, but he did not know if the general visited the ousted unit.


U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., took the extraordinary step of pulling the 120-Marine company out of Afghanistan after a March 4 firefight in Nangarhar Province on the Pakistan border. A second Marine officer told The Examiner that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had complained about the unit and that U.S. commanders in Afghanistan decided the company needed to leave.


In the incident, a company patrol was ambushed by a suicide car bomber on Highway 1 near Jalalabad. The explosion slightly wounded one Marine. The patrol became involved in a firefight and rushed from the scene, firing at Afghans along the route.


Afghan eyewitnesses told the Associated Press at the time that Marines fired at civilians. The government said 10 civilians were killed. Central Command has assigned an officer to investigate the shooting. The province is a crossing point for Taliban and al Qaeda.


A year ago, the Pentagon made the Marine Corps a new part of U.S. Special Operations Command, a shift approved by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's who wanted to expand the command to fight the war on terror. The MARSOC was set up at Camp Lejeune, N.C. where it is assembling nine combat companies.


The expelled company was the first Marine Corps special operations unit to deploy in combat. A second one is scheduled to deploy in the coming weeks from Camp Pendleton, Calif.






Edited by SCFalken
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I wasn't aware that the USMC had started up its very own SOC. Call me a caveman, but I think it's just silly. The Army has Special Forces, the Navy has SEALS, there's just no frikking reason that the Marine Corps now needs to say, "Us too!" and form yet another, Special Ops unit. The Corps is small enough as it is, we don't need to be siphoning off bodies to form capapabilities redundant to the Army's and the Navy's. <_<

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This is too bad and a bit surprising. In my experiences working with Marines (straight MEF's though) in Iraq, I tended to think they were too cautious and light handed. Also it seemed bad form to pack a bunch of dudes in an AAV and send them on patrol.... But too punish guys for killing enemy sucks. I guess SOCOM is gotten just as political as the Army they tried to seperate themselves from.


The biggest issue is EVERYONE wants to be SOCOM now. You cant swing a dead cat in the mess hall without hitting an "operator". Air Force FAC/CA/MI/ dudes running around in trucks with huge speakers blaring Arabic gibberish. These are all part of Special operations guys today. Which is cool I guess, they get a ton of money for a bunch of cool gadgets and get to wear their hair out and act cool. So why shouldnt the Marines jump on board?



As for the people who say "everyone with an AK is not the enemy!!!", you are an idiot. Dudes with AK's dont just walk up to American patrols. Well they did in OIF I, but then we killed all the stupid guys. In OIF III they didnt walk up on us like that anymore, their getting smarter. Hey at least we are culling the heard in Iraq.


Its just like the guy you detain at 2 in the morning that is digging on the side of the road. When you question him he is "looking for water". By some of the reasoning around here you would let him go and may go so far as to help him "find that water"


Right......just remember 1 statement if you shoot him (and yes its justified), or make up a detainee packet (7 statements and has to be reviewed and corrected, takes about and hour or two) if you take him prisoner........If you dont shoot him or take him in the next morning someone is getting blown up when they drive by that hole. BTW shooting is better, if you detain him his partner(s) is going to place the explosive anyways. When you shoot him his partner(s) runs away.


One last thing, its really annoying when people say "the Marines are not what they were when I was in" or "the Army is lacking in discipline compared to when I was in". Look you served your 2-20 years and retired/ETS'd/ or got chaptered.....great. Thanks for defending the Fulda Gap. But if you havent walked in 130 degrees for 2 weeks, sweating your ass off and getting blown the hell up, you dont know what the military is like today. And from what I hear the 1980's werent exactly the best days of the Army, but I wasnt there so I dont know.

Edited by FOXMG
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