a regional command and the requirements of that position.”
Fallon noted that the military
has “highly qualified ground officers” leading forces in Iraq and
Afghanistan, adding that the Bush
administration wants someone
with experience leading a combatant command who can work with
other officers on the ground.
The Senate unanimously confirmed Fallon Feb. 12.
MARSOC Could Seek
Now that the Marine Corps Special
Operations Command (MARSOC)
is nearing its one-year anniversary, it
is looking to increase its capabilities.
Some of MARSOC’s Foreign Military
Training Units already are making
their second round of deployments,
and its first Marine Special Operations Company is under way with
the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The next step, according to
MARSOC’s operations officer, may
be to become adept at unconventional warfare, recently epitomized
by the U.S. forces who teamed with
the Afghan Northern Alliance early
on in the 2003 U.S. counterattack
against al Qaeda forces and the
Taliban regime in Afghanistan. U.S.
forces instructed their Afghan allies
in subversion, sabotage and intelligence collection, among other
skills. Unlike direct action, which is
generally a quick campaign, unconventional warfare can last months,
even years. It is widely considered
to be the most difficult task under
the special operations umbrella.
“We understand it’s not something
you do overnight,” said Col. Pete Petronzio, MARSOC’s operations officer.
“We’re trying to scope out just what
it means, and I think the U.S. Army
Special Operations Command is
doing a little bit of that themselves.”
Petronzio said he would be out
of place discussing how the Army
is reassessing the definition of
unconventional warfare, but said it
U.S. MARINE CORPS
Special operations forces Marines of G Company, 2nd Marine Special
Operations Battalion, Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command,
leap from a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 CH-46E Sea Knight during a training exercise off Onslow Beach, N.C.
has been “very gracious” in keeping the Marines in the loop.
A Better Basis
For Sea Basing
The Department of Defense has not
provided sufficient leadership over
its joint sea basing programs,
according to a January report by the
Government Accountability Office
(GAO), Congress’ investigative arm.
The report, which was prepared
at the behest of Rep. C.W. Bill
Young of Florida, the ranking
Republican on the House Armed
Services Committee, said the
Pentagon has not established a
comprehensive joint experimentation campaign that would lead to
better informed decisions about
sea basing. GAO also faulted the
Defense Department for the lack of
full cost estimates and sound management practices.
The sea basing concept of operations envisions moving materiel
from transport ships at a sea base to
shore without docking and offload-