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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command


U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Camp Lejeune, NC

Special operators team up for JTAC exercise

By Lance Cpl. Stephen C. Benson | | January 7, 2008

Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command teamed up with Air Force Special Operations Command and U.S Army Fire Support Officers to hone basic and advanced skills in joint terminal air control close air support here, Dec. 12 and 13.

  During an exercise at Observation Post 5, Marines with 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion and Marine Special Operations Support Group acquired CAS targets with representatives from AFSOC and the Army on hand to develop skills to U.S. Special Operations Command standards.

  “As MARSOC gets more proficient in their SOCOM mission sets, we can be here to help,” said one Army fire support officer. “It’s good to see how SOCOM is standardizing training requirements throughout its component commands.”

  The main purpose of the exercise was to prepare MARSOC Marines for JTAC school.

  “We’re not all JTAC’s here,” said Sgt. William Stowe, radio operator, fire control platoon, MSOSG. “We all want to be JTAC’s though, and this training will get us closer to our goal.”

  Marines also became familiar with targeting equipment used by special operations forces during CAS operations. When a target was chosen, Marines used laser designators to direct fire from two AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters circling the range. Minutes after targets were marked by the laser, the helicopters closed in to destroy the targets with rockets and gunfire.

  Supervisors assessed the performance of each Marine and experienced JTAC’s took every opportunity to teach advanced skills.

  “This is a good experience having the other services here,” said Stowe. “It will just make us even more prepared for when we head to JTAC school.”

  The training included both day and night firing, and by the end of the second day, the representatives from the Army and AFSOC were pleased with what they saw.

  “The Marines have really impressed me with how they have taken to SOCOM,” said the Army fire support officer. “We are out here to share our knowledge with them and build a lasting partnership between services in the special [operations] forces.”

  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 atwww.marsoc.usmc.mil/recruiting.