Marine Corps Security Force Regiment

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Marine Corps Security Force Regiment
MCSF Regt Logo.gif
unit logo
Active 1920–present
Country United States
Branch United States Marine Corps
Role Expeditionary Security
Garrison/HQ Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Virginia
Nickname Gunslingers
Motto Deter, Detect, Defend
Commanders
Current
commander
Col James Bright

The Marine Corps Security Force Regiment is a dedicated security and anti-/counter-terrorism unit of the United States Marine Corps.[1][2] It provides security forces to guard high-value naval installations, most notably those containing nuclear vessels and weapons. It also provides Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams (FAST) and Recapture Tactics Teams (RTT). Marines who complete Security Force training are assigned a secondary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 8152 (Marine Corps Security Force Guard), while instructors can earn 8153 (Marine Corps Security Force Cadre Trainer).

History[edit]

The unit was initially organized as the Marine Detachment, Naval Operation Base in 1920. It was redesignated as Marine Barracks, Norfolk in 1939. During World War II, Marines from the Norfolk Barracks provided security for several commands in the Tidewater area, including the Naval Station, Naval Air Station, and Naval Fuel Annex at Craney Island, and what is now Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek. In addition, the Barracks acted as the processing center for transient Marines on the East Coast. In addition to providing gate security for the Norfolk Naval Base Complex and a security force for a nearby Service Storage Facility, Barracks Marines also served as ceremonial troops and provided security at the headquarters of United States Atlantic Fleet and provided administrative support to Marines stationed in various Naval commands in Norfolk area.

The Barracks was redesignated as Marine Corps Security Force Battalion, Atlantic, on 1 April 1987, and exercised administrative control over security force companies and detachments afloat in the Atlantic region. The first FAST companies were established that same year to provide a more mobile force. On 16 December 1993, the Battalion was again redesignated as Marine Corps Security Force Battalion and assumed control of all security force companies and detachments globally. In 1998, numerous companies and detachments were deactivated due to force reductions and realignments; two FAST companies were established to take their place.

Units[edit]

Active
Inactive

Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team[edit]

Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team
FAST logo
Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team logo
Active 1987–present
Nickname "FAST Company"
Motto Anytime, Anyplace
Engagements USS Cole bombing, Operation Just Cause,Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan

The Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) is capable of rapidly deploying to immediately improve security at United States Government installations worldwide.


Established in 1987, FAST companies provide a limited-duration, expeditionary security force to protect vital naval and national assets. FAST maintains forward-deployed platoons at various naval commands around the globe, and possesses U.S.-based alert forces capable of rapidly responding to unforeseen contingencies worldwide. Each FAST company is equipped and trains with some of the most state-of-the-art weaponry and currently consists of around 500 Marines.

FAST maintains a high degree of readiness in order to conduct these short-notice, limited-duration contingency operations. The USMC's Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams (FAST),provide the both US Navy and Marine Corps with a dedicated force protection and anti-terrorist unit. The late 70's and early 80's were a high water mark for US military counter/anti-terrorist efforts. A series of deadly attacks directed at Americans highlighted the requirement for security forces capable of countering terrorist threats against military units. The President issued a directive ordering US security agencies and all branches of the military to enhance their capabilities in this field. In compliance with this directive, the USMC conducted an thorough evaluation of its security forces during the mid-eighties. Upon the studies completion, the Corps came to the conclusion that its current security procedures were inadequate to handle the security threats being posed against it. The Corps decided to form a new unit of highly trained Marines dedicated to defending both US Navy and Marine Corps assets from terrorist attack. The new unit was designated as the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, or FAST. Established in 1987, FAST Companies are equipped to perform security missions as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations. FAST Company Marines augment installation security when a threat condition is elevated beyond the ability of resident and auxiliary security forces. They are not designed to provide a permanent security force for the installation. The Marine Corps uses FAST Companies to protect forces when a threat level requires it. Each company is well grounded in basic infantry skills. FAST Companies are primarily designed to conduct defensive combat operations, military security operations, and rear area security operations. They also can be tailored for specific tasks from the Chief of Naval Operations. They also ensure nuclear material on submarines is not compromised when the vessels are docked.

  • Dedicated, armed, combat-trained cadre
  • Task organized and equipped to perform security missions of short duration
  • Augment installation security when the threat condition has been elevated beyond the capability of the permanent security force
  • Train installation security forces in antiterrorism and weapons marksmanship
  • Assist the base security officer in the preparation of base defense and other security plans
  • Requested by combatant and fleet commanders-in-chief
  • Deploy only upon approval of the Chief of Naval Operations
The Marines of 1st FAST 1st Platoon after raiding a mock embassy in Rota Spain.


Since their inception FAST Company marines have seen a heavy operations tempo, being deployed to participate in numerous training, security, and combat operations. In 1989 elements of 1st FAST were deployed to Rodman Naval Station, Panama as a response to a number of incursions by unknown intruders*( the intruders were believed to be members of a Cuban special operations unit who were attempting to sabotage US POL stockpiles located on the base )*. 1 FAST immediately commenced operations, conducting security patrols around the base perimeter, and establishing ambush positions along known avenues of approach. The FAST marines were successful in deterring further incursions, and on a number of occasions they took intruders, attempting to gain entry to the base, under fire. On December 21, 1989 the US launched Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama. US forces were to secure the country and remove Panamanian military strongman, and the countries defacto leader, from power. Although primarily a US Army, and special operation forces mission, a select number of USMC units were to participate. One of the USMC units selected for the operation was 1st FAST Co. 1st FAST had been operating in Panama for some time providing security at US naval installations; conducting training exercises; and gearing up for any possible terrorist attack directed at USMC or USN facilities in Panama. 1st FAST along with a detachment form the 2nd Light Armored Infantry (LAI) Battalion, another new USMC unit, were to conduct several joint combat missions together. The 2nd LAI det. provided speed, armored protection, and heavy firepower, while 1 FAST provided CQB skills necessary for operating in the tight confines of an urban environment. During Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield FAST Marines provided additional security to US naval installations in Bahrain. In January 1991, The US Navy and Marines conducted Operation Sharp Edge, the noncombatant evacuation operation of US and foreign nationals from Liberia. FAST was deployed to relieve the Marine Amphibious Readiness Group that was providing security at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. Shortly after the conclusion of Vigilant Warrior, USCENTCOM found itself involved once again in Somalia, this time to cover the withdrawal of UNOSOM II in accordance with a United Nations decision to pull its forces out of that war ravaged country. After the withdrawal of US forces on 25 March 1994, the United States maintained a liaison office in Mogadishu in an attempt to further the process of political reconciliation in Somalia. Security for this office was provided by a Fleet Anti terrorist Security Team (FAST) platoon. As conditions in Mogadishu deteriorated, the liaison office relocated to Nairobi and the FAST platoon redeployed to Mombasa, Kenya, on 15 September 1994, with FAST redeploying to home station three days later. FAST Platoons also provided security support for the transfer of Cuban migrants from Panama holding areas to Guantanamo Bay during Operation Safe Passage from January to February 1995. Following the 1996 bombing of a UASF barracks in Saudi Arabia, FAST Marines responded. Elements of FAST Company arrived on the scene and secured several buildings within 10 hours. During Operation Fairwinds in late 1996, FAST Platoons provided security for Navy Sea Bees and USAF Civil Engineers, work sites, camp sites, and convoys in Haiti.

There are currently three FAST companies in the US, and training unit. 1st FAST Co. and 3rd FAST Co are located on Naval Operations Base (NOB), Norfolk, Virginia, and 2nd FAST Co. which is located at Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia. Both units operate under the control of the Marine Corps Security Force Regiment located on Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, The Security Force Battalion Training Company is located on Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA), Northwest, in Chesapeake, Virginia. Each company includes almost 400 Marines, task-organized based upon mission.

All Marines assigned to FAST must have completed the following training:

  • SOI (School of Infantry).
  • Security Force School - (NSGA-North West, Chesapeake, VA) (22 Days-Longer for NCOs and officers) - Teaches Combat Marksmanship (shotgun and pistol - all Security Forces are dual armed), Room Clearing, etc.
  • FAST Training (5 weeks)-(NSGA- NSGA North West, Chesapeake, VA) Additional training in Close Quarters Battle, submachine gun employment (MP-5), etc.
  • BSR Summit Point, West Virginia High performance driving school that teaches, high risk driving, motorcade operations, evasive driving techniques, driving beyond normal limits, ramming, pit, close proximity, driver down and various other driving techniques. ***This is a FAST school only***

During their many training exercises FAST makes extensive use of Simunition or UTM. Simunition and UTMs are like paintball ammunition, but it can be fired from weapons normally used by the unit instead of plastic guns. The USMC has seen fit to equip its FAST units with a wide array of weapons, and equipment to help them accomplish their mission. The FAST units arsenal is known to include M-4A1 rifles, M-4A1/M-203 40mm grenade launchers, Modified M-14 rifles with specialized stocks to make them Desginated Marksmen Rifles (DMR which has a composite stock and fixed magnification scope) or Enhanced Marksmen Rifle (EMR which has a SAGE stock with a specialized scope known as the Scout Sniper Day Scope or SSDS), Berretta M-9A1 9mm pistols HK MP-5 9mm SMGs, Colt 9mm SMGs, Remington 870 shotguns, Benelli M1014 semi automatic shotgun, M-249 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs), M-240B 7.62mm MMGs, Browning .50 Cal. HMGs, MK-19 40mm HMGs (automatic grenade launchers), AT-4 88mm. All these weapons can at anytime be outfitted with the most advanced optics known today like ACOG, EoTech, AimPoint, various PEQ laser systems and night vision scopes.Almost all of FAST Company mission are unknown except from the members of that platoon but FASTs most recent mission that was known around the world and caught media attention was on 12 September 2012 a FAST team was sent to Libya in response to the 2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi.[3] The FAST Marines were from Europe Rota, Spain.;[4]

Recapture Tactics Team[edit]

Recapture Tactics Team
Active 1987–present
Nickname CQB Cowboys
Motto Speed, Surprise, and Violence of Action

The Recapture Tactics Team or RTT specializes in SWAT procedures without having to be military police special reaction team trained, as the 2 weeks of Army SRT School is not seen as being adequate to their mission profile. RTT units are attached to Nulear Weapon Stations aboard US Naval installations and do not deploy. Where as FAST Platoons deploy to areas in need of naval security operations, RTT has no need to deploy because they are already prepositioned in the appropriate strategic locations where they are most needed.

Marines assigned to Naval Nuclear Weapons Stations are given an opportunity, if the Marine Command allows them, to try out for RTT, which is colloquially referred to within the nuclear commands as simply "CQB Platoon," or just "CQB."

Typically, only a small fraction of the Marines who are permitted to try out for CQB Platoon are actually selected from the grueling 2 week selection process. Those who are selected then have a tactical spin-up (a period of intensive preparatory training,) in which the CQB Platoon's current Operators help to get the newly selected candidates ready for the 3rd hardest tactical school in the United States Marine Corps.

If they successfully complete spin-up, and an alternate isn't chosen in one of their places, the RTT candidates then report to USMC CQB School where they undergoes an intensive 7 week advanced combat marksmanship and dynamic assault course, during which, in-extremis hostage rescue & counter-nuclear proliferation are heavily emphasized. The Marines learn to violently recapture, and take back by force, United States personnel and property that has been stolen or otherwise compromised.

If they pass the nearly 2 month long USMC CQB school, (90% don't), they have officially earned the 8154 MOS, and they then go back to their Naval Nuclear Weapons Command where they spend several more weeks getting "broken in" by the platoon as new Operators. Upon successfully completing that phase, the candidates are formally admitted onto the Recapture Tactics Team as Shooters (also more controversially known as "Operators.")

All RTT Shooters must attend the following schools to obtain the appropriate certifications:

  • Marine Corps Basic Training - 13 weeks long
  • Marine Corps School of Infantry, Infantry Training Battalion (SOI-ITB) - 9 weeks long
  • Basic Security Guard (Marine Corps Security Guard Anti-Terrorism Training) - 7 weeks long
  • Close Quarter Battle School - 7 weeks long (not including platoon tryouts, spin-ups and the post-Schoolhouse breaking in period.)

And are eligible to attend the following courses, pending their command's approval:


However, this is not in the pipeline fashion, as it is with other specialty units. RTT receives the "on job training" needed after going to CQB school, before going to the others schools listed. Once formally trained in CQB School, they receive the MOS 8154.

The Marine Corps Security Forces Close Quarters Battle Teams go to various installations as Mobile Training Teams to teach CQB to units such as but are not limited to: military police special reaction teams, other military branches (both foreign and domestic), and law enforcement organizations (federal, state, and local).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]