3rd Force Reconnaissance Company

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3rd Force Reconnaissance Company
3rd FORECON.png
Seal of the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company
Active 1 July 1960 – present
Allegiance  United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Special Operations Capable
Part of

Marine Forces Reserve (MarForRes)
Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic

Garrison/HQ Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Engagements Vietnam War
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Decorations Streamer VUA Army.PNG
Valorous Unit Award
Streamer NDS.PNG
National Defense Service Medal
Streamer VS.PNG
Vietnam Service Medal
Streamer SAS.PNG
Southwest Asia Service Medal
VGCP Streamer.jpg
Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Streamer RVMUCCA.PNG
Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
Navy Unit Commendation streamer.png
Navy Unit Commendation
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Navy-Marine) Streamer.jpg
Meritorious Unit Commendation

The Third Force Reconnaissance Company, or 3rd FORECON, are responsible in deep reconnaissance and direct action support, and largely tasked in remote sensor emplacement for ground combat elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

Mission[edit]

3rd FORECON are operationally committed in supporting the subordinate elements Marine Forces Command (MarForCom) or the II Marine Expeditionary Force for direct support of operations and personnel tempo relief.

The company augmented active-duty forces or were mobilized to conduct pre-assault and deep post-assault reconnaissance and surveillance in support of II Marine Expeditionary Force and its subordinate elements; 22nd, 24th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units, and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Unit mission as of 2013

3rd Force Reconnaissance Company: To conduct pre-assault and distant post-assault reconnaissance in support of a landing force. In addition, the company possesses the capability to perform the following tasks: Engage the enemy by supporting arms, Implant sensors, Capture selected prisoners, Conduct initial terminal guidance operations, Conduct specialized terrain reconnaissance, Conduct special missions requiring the use of entry capabilities.

4th SCAMP: Plan, control, and manage the employment of unattended ground sensor equipment in support of a MAGTF or other commands as directed.

Organization[edit]

4th Sensor Control and Management Platoon[edit]

The mission of the 4th Sensor Control and Management Platoon is to plan, control, and manage the employment of unattended ground sensor equipment in support of a MAGTF or other commands as directed.

The 4th SCAMP was originally activated on 1 October 1986 as the 4th Sensor Control and Management Platoon (SCAMP) and co-located in Mobile with 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company.

On 13 November 1990, Det 1, 4th SCAMP was mobilized in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. On 3 December 1990, Det 2, 4th SCAMP was mobilized in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. On 25 April 1991 4th SCAMP, Dets 1 & 2, were demobilized and returned to the home training center in Mobile.

Chronology[edit]

  • 1 July 1960 -Redesignated 1st Reconnaissance Company, USMCR
  • 1 July 1962 -Redesignated 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company.
  • 1 February 1967 – Temporary designated 13th Force Reconnaissance Company
  • April 1967 – Redesignated 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company
  • 22 Oct 1969 – Dropped from Operational and Administrative control by 3rd Recon Bn, 3rd Marine Division and came under the control of III Marine Amphibious Force.
  • Following Vietnam War, the unit was redesignated to Det 4th Force Reconnaissance Company,
  • 1 January 1983 Redesignated 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company.
    13th Force Recon seal.
  • 27 November 1990 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company (-) was mobilized in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
  • 11 April 1991 3rd Force Reconnaissance (-) was demobilized and returned to the home training center in Mobile.

2004 3rd Force Recon deployed several platoons to operation Iraqi Freedom. 2007 Last Force Recon detachment returns from OIF. 3rd Force Recon suffered Sgt. Foster Harrington KIA during combat operations in Al Anbar Province. 2009 Det Echo mobilized for Operation Enduing Freedom. 2010 Det Echo returns from OEF deployment.

History[edit]

Vietnam, 1967–1971[edit]

3rd Force Reconnaissance Company was activated, trained, fought and deactivated during the Vietnam War. Activated in September 1965 as one of the first group of add on units to meet demands of operations in the Republic of South Vietnam, 3rd FORECON formed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and satellite on 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company that was under strength due to the demands for trained Force Recon Marines assigned to 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in country. Facilities, cadre and equipment for training were provided by 2nd FORECON.

Volunteers were solicited from throughout the Marine Corps and the first four months were devoted to bringing 3rd FORECON up to strength in personnel. Beginning in January 1966 all operational personnel departed Camp Lejeune to train in the Caribbean and Panama.

Returning to North Carolina in March, final preparations were carried out to meet the projected deployment date in May 1966. The expected deployment of the entire 3rd FORECON did not occur, but a two-platoon detachment embarked on the USS Boxer, transited through the Suez Canal, and arrived in country in time to be introduced to combat in Operation Hastings as part of the Special Landing Force Alpha in early July 1966.

3rd FORECON (-) dropped to a not-combat-ready readiness status. Headquarters Marine Corps transferred several commissioned officers and numerous enlisted ([staff] non-commissioned officers) immediately after the Detachment departed.

In mid-June, 3rd FORECON (-) was alerted to deploy immediately. Due to the reduced personnel readiness status, HQMC changed the deployment plan and ordered that a Platoon be assigned to deploy with 1st Battalion, 26th Marines (1/26) that had been activated at Camp Pendleton. The remainder of 3rd FORECON was ordered to move to Camp Pendleton to refit.

At the conclusion of Hastings the Detachment was attached to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion that had just arrived in Phu Bai from Da Nang, having been replaced by the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion that had just begun arriving with the 1st Marine Division. Shortly, they were joined by the Platoon that had come in country with 1/26.

They patrolled in Thua Tin Province, until early January, 1967, when a task-organized "Special Purpose group" carried out a prisoner rescue attempt. The remainder were sent to Khe Sahn where they developed the intelligence of a large enemy buildup, that was the prelude to the hill fights that occurred in April 1967.

Reunited, what was left of the three platoons, returned to Phu Bai to await the arrival of the 3rd FORECON (-). Having been brought up to strength and operational readiness, 3rd FORECON was reunited on May 27, 1966, just in time for the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) offensive to seize Quang Tri Province. The logistics element arrive at the "Ramp" at Dong Ha just in time for the opening salvos of the NVA artillery attacks that would continue daily until late Autumn.

The operational element experienced a mortar attack in Phu Bai at the same time resulting in several shrapnel wounds, only one of which, required evacuation. The new arrivals were integrated with combat veterans and the entire eighteen teams conducted a zone reconnaissance in the Cobi Than Tan Valley east of Quey City before displacing to Dong Ha.

Upon arrival at Dong Ha in early May the Commanding Officer assumed command of 3rd Recon Battalion (Forward), which had reconnaissance responsibility for all of Quang Tri Province except the Khe Sahn Tactical Area of Operations (TAOR). 3rd FORECON patrolled the area north of Highway nine to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), while a recon company from 3rd Recon Battalion was targeted south of Highway Nine to the Thua Tin border. Occasional circumstances caused deviation from that concept, but, for the most part, those deviations were rare. 3rd FORECON continued that operational commitment until the 3rd Marine Division left country in November 1969.

CORRECTION:3rd Recon Battalion ran many patrols north of Hwy 9; including into the DMZ! We were never limited to south of Hwy 9 before or after I was in Dong Ha with Charlie Company, 3rd Recon Battalion. I was on patrols north of Khe Sahn, east and west of Con Thien and everywhere in between. This was in 1967 and 1968.

3rd FORECON was placed under command of the III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF) and operated in general support of III MAF until deactivated in mid-1970.

Training[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.