Zodiacs are used for over-the-horizon insertion/extraction of small SOF raiding/recon teams. The boats can be launched from surface vessels, dropped into the water from helicopters in a low hover, or deployed by parachute. The boat is buoyed by eight separate chambers. This design allows the Zodiac to remain afloat in the event of any one chamber being punctured. Recon battalions provide division-level reconnaissance to the ground combat element (GCE) of a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF).
Marines with Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, conducted a Zodiac operator’s course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Nov. 19, 2015. The course taught the Marines basic engineer reconnaissance skills and required them to navigate through various conditions in the water.