Recently, elements of MARSOC have taken to the sea, getting back to their amphibious roots, if you will. A handful of MSOTs (Marine Special Operations Team) have taken on the kind of training typical of a Force Recon Platoon, conducting a pre-deployment workup for an MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit). This development has many speculating what this will mean for MARSOC and Force Recon.

For those not familiar with the functions of an MEU, it’s a floating quick reaction force, poised to respond to any global crisis. It is the hallmark of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). Equipped with a reinforced infantry battalion and air assets, the MEU can strike fast and sustain itself until a larger force can support its efforts. Enhancing the MEU’s Ground Combat Element is a reconnaissance section. Within the reconnaissance section is a Force Recon platoon. Their primary duties are Direct Action (DA), Special Reconnaissance (SR) and maritime interdiction missions, referred to as VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure).

Force Recon conducts VBSS with 26th MEU.Many have questioned MARSOC’s motives for returning to the sea. Why the sudden push to double-down on the ‘cool guy’ capabilities of the MEU? And how will this effect Force Recon?

The most puzzling aspect of this new development is the fact that Force Recon has proven itself more than capable of handling the type of missions for which MARSOC is now training.