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
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).


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.



Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team[edit]

Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team
FAST logo
Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team logo
Active 1987–present
Nickname "Gunslingers"
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, as seen in the port security mission following the attacks on the USS Cole (DDG-67) in October 2000 and the American Embassy reinforcements in Liberia and Haiti. FAST participated in several embassy reinforcements during the Arab Spring, from Cairo, Egypt to Sana'a, Yemen. FAST Marines provided additional security to allow the embassies to continue normal operation. 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 Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company Europe from Rota, Spain.[4]

Recapture Tactics Team[edit]

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

The Recapture Tactics Team (RTT) is also known as the Security Forces Close Quarters Battle Team. RTTs specialize in SWAT procedures without having to be military police special reaction team trained. The SRT 1 Course currently stands at 2 weeks in length, which is not nearly long enough of a training program to teach Counter-Nuclear Proliferation and the advanced, In-Extremis Hostage Rescue training that every Marine assigned to RTT is required to be certified in. RTT units are attached to Personal Reliability Program Commands around the globe, located at select naval installations. Whereas FASTs deploy to areas in need of naval security operations, a RTT doesn't deploy because they are already pre-positioned at strategic weapons installations, ready to respond at a moment's notice in the event that a national asset is compromised.

RTT and FAST both go through advanced Close-Quarters Battle training at the Marine Corps Security Forces Training Company in Chesapeake, VA, although individual RTT shooters who have been selected by their PRP commands in a rigorous tryout and selection process (called Tryout & Spinup) go through a grueling 7 week CQB School, graduation from which earns them the MOS of 8154 - CQB Team Member, while FAST goes through their CQB training known as AUC which is a 45 day program known as Advanced Urban Combat, and receive the CQB MOS 8152 Military Occupational Specialty code. This AUC School training is mandatory for all FAST Platoons

Specially selected British Royal Marine Commandos, Marine Security Forces non-commissioned officers aspiring to become CQB or AUC Instructors, select Marine Force Reconnaissance staff non-commissioned officers, and very rarely, exceptional Navy Masters-at-Arms (military police) assigned to the PRP commands are also sent through the 7 week advanced USMC CQB School.

RTT units attend the following training schools:

However, this is not in the pipeline fashion, as it is with other specialty units. RTT members receive this training in an "on the job" fashion, after going to CQB School. When seats in those other courses listed above become available and/or the CQB Platoon leadership needs to get their Shooters certified in certain skills, they pull selected Marines out of Operational Status and send them through such courses.

For example, a couple of times a year, the RTT in Kings Bay, GA is typically granted a couple of slots in the nearby Jacksonville Beach Police Department SWAT School (2 weeks long) which they attend along with members of the Jacksonville FBI Field Office SWAT Team, as well as alongside members of other local, state and federal agencies, who are also each granted a couple of slots in that particular course, due to JBPD hospitality. The RTT Platoon leadership is not required to send any CQB Marines through that particular course in order to maintain their Shooter's certifications in Close-Quarters Battle (the course is viewed as "nonessential continuing education"), but the courses are available and nearby, they offer a more civilian law enforcement-based type of CQB instruction & tactics, and are seen as a good "tool" for their Marines to have in their proverbial "toolbelts." So, they pick a couple of their best Shooters and send them to the school for two weeks, along with a whole host of other Shooters/Operators/Assaulters from various regional law enforcement agencies.

Another example of this "on the job" training is the USMC Methods of Entry Course, taught at Quantico, VA, which is a course that a certain number of Shooters in each RTT Platoon are required to be certified and maintain certification in. Once the RTT selects which Shooters they want as their Breachers, these Marines will be sent to the MOE course and expected to maintain their Breacher certification for the duration of their time on RTT.

The Marine Corps Security Forces Close Quarters Battle Team members also go to various installations as Mobile Training Teams to teach CQB to units such as Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams, military police special reaction teams, other military branches (both foreign and domestic), and law enforcement organizations (federal, state, and local).

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