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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command


U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Camp Lejeune, NC

MARSOC Marines hit the gas

By Lance Cpl. Stephen C. Benson | | November 6, 2007

A group of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command Marines drove their way through the Camp Lejeune area over many miles of road and through the mud, on their way to yet another skill set. Eleven Marines from Marine Special Operations Advisor Group and 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion completed the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) Incidental Operators Course here, Nov. 2.

 This was the fourth class taught by lead instructor Sgt. Donald L. Hutchinson, training non-commissioned officer, MARSOC Motor Transport since MARSOC ran its first 10-day course in February.

 “We are licensing these Marines so that they don’t have to pull operators from other units but still remain effective and efficient while deployed,” said Hutchinson. “I have been impressed with their performance in the course.”

 Licensing on the humvee required students to drive 251 miles in various conditions. Students drove 75 miles off-base, which is less controlled and presents different challenges than the 70 miles of required on-base driving. Students also drove 55 miles at night, 35 miles off-road, ten miles using night-vision goggles, five miles while towing a trailer and one mile towing another humvee. The driving was done as a convoy throughout the duration of the course.

 Students also completed driving skills tests involving driving forward and backward in a straight line, as well as stopping within 40 feet from a speed of 20 miles per hour. After all the required miles and skills tests, students had to pass a final road test which encompassed all they learned throughout their ten days of training.

 According to Staff Sgt. Ian S. Schmitz, licensing staff NCO for MARSOC, the humvee licensing builds flexibility into the companies and teams by keeping the Motor Transport Marines from being required to act as drivers while deployed, which allows them to concentrate on maintenance of the unit’s vehicles.

 “If they can only bring ten operators on a mission, then why not have ten infantrymen who can drive rather than eight infantrymen and two drivers?” said Schmitz.

 As this group of Marines drove their way to another qualification, they brought yet another important asset to MARSOC. In a unit where Marines train for specialized missions, MARSOC doesn't overlook the importance of having skilled drivers to take to the roads and keep MARSOC rolling.

 Active duty Marines and Sailors interested in joining MARSOC can contact the Marine Special Operations School at (910) 450-3349/3123 (DSN 750-3349/3123) or visit us online at www.marsoc.usmc.mil/recruiting.