Happy Belated Birthday MARSOC!

An operator taking part in the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command's All-Terrain Vehicle course practices shifting his body weight, Feb. 19, at Landing Zone Robin, here. The operators, Marines with Marine Special Operations Advisor Group, MARSOC, spent, Feb. 18-20, training to operate ATVs and gain a U.S. Government Motor Vehicle Operator's Identification Card for ATVs. Photo courtesy of MARSOC PAO.

It's a belated Happy Birthday because I missed this last month:
Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command Celebrates Third Year of Existence
Story by Cpl. Richard Blumenstein

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command marked its third year of existence during a ceremony at the Goettge Field House, March 2.

During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Mastin M. Robeson, the commander of MARSOC, talked about the vast accomplishments MARSOC made during this past year and discussed the future of the organization.

"What has impressed me the most about the Marine Special Operations Command in the last year is the fact that they have, in essence, performed at the standard the U.S. Special Operations Command expects," Robeson said.

MARSOC stood up and officially joined the ranks of the SOCOM on Feb. 24, 2006.
Since then, the organization has rapidly grown into a fully operational member of SOCOM.

After three years, it is easy for any of its members to see the leaps and bounds made in advancing its force structure, capabilities and operational tempo.

Last year in October, MARSOC lunched its first class of the Marine Special Operations Individual Training Course. The course focuses on preparing the Marines to conduct special operations missions in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The Marines who pass the course are scheduled to graduate in April.

MARSOC also reached full operational capability last year in October. This means every battalion, company and team MARSOC set out to create has officially been activated at the operational level. MARSOC also increased its manpower from 70 percent to 83 percent of its anticipated end-strength of 2,516 in the year 2010.

The Marines conducted 33 deployments to more than 16 countries throughout the year, according to Robeson.

"We truly have spanned the globe as we did in the year before, we merely increased by about 30 percent the number of deployments last year," said Robeson.

MARSOC conducted many deployments to foreign countries with various mission sets. The Marines and Sailors conducted multiple combat operations, Medical Civic Action Programs and Dental Civic Action Programs. They carried out Joint Combined Exchange Training and Counter-Narco Terrorism operations in support of Operations Enduring Freedom Afghanistan, Philippines, Horn of Africa and Trans Sahara.

While deployed in support of OEF-Afghanistan, the Marines and Sailors aided in the reduction of enemy forces and helped bring stability to the region by developing infrastructure support projects for local villages and tribes. While serving in support of OEF-Philippines, operators improved the Pilipino Military's ability to conduct combat operations through military to military training. They also saved many lives by providing medical support and evacuations.

A Marine with Intelligence Company, Marine Special Operations Support Group, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, fires on balloon targets while participating in the Trainer's Course of Instruction with the Rifle Combat Optic at Stone Bay. Photo by Private First Class Stephen Benson, MARSOC PAO.