April 1, 2007:
While the U.S. Marine Corps has
recruited most of its Force Recon troops into its new special operations units,
it has done this in a way that increases the overall special operations
capability of the Marine Corps. The Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was
recently organized as a force of 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 marines basically lost two of their four Force
Recon companies (one of them a reserve unit) in order to build MARSOC.
Meanwhile, more troops have been added to division level reconnaissance units,
to take up some of that slack. The Special Operations companies (with about 120
personnel each) can provide Force Recon capabilities to marine units they are
The two Special Operations Battalions provide a
combination of services roughly equal to what the U.S. Army Special Forces and
Rangers do, as well as some of the functions of the Force Recon units.
Eventually, there are to be nine companies in the two Special Operations
Battalion. So far, only four of those companies have been formed.