MSOC DFT – deployment familiarization training

What is deployment familiarization training (DFT) for Marine Special Operations Company (MSOC) and teams (MSOT)? A DFT is one phase (about 30-45 days) of the pre-deployment work-up that is conduct by even MSOC prior to deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. The DFT portion of the work-up is unique in the fact that it is usually the first time that a MSOT has the opportunity to meet and work alongside the collective members that will deploy on the team.

High-angle marksmanship training
High-angle marksmanship training

Up to this point, many of the members of the team have been off conducting individual training in preparation for deployment i.e. breacher, sniper, SERE and SSC course to name a few. This also includes the special operation critical skills (SOCS) members i.e. EOD, JTAC and Intelligence Marines. These individuals are assigned from the Marine Special Operation Regiment (MSOR), which retains these collective elements for training and proficiency purposes.

MSOT conducting weapon familiarization in Nevada
MSOT conducting weapon familiarization in Nevada

This is the first time that the team is complete as a special operations element. The purpose of the DFT is for MSOTs to focus on team level events and training. This is where teams build and refine TTPs and SOPs. It is the most important phase for a team to develop confidents and unit cohesion. MSOTs train and operator independently from the Company command element during this phase of the pre-deployment work-up.