13th MEU MSPF courses on the move

12 Dec 2002 | Sgt. Mark P. Ledesma

In anticipation of its scheduled deployment next summer, the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Maritime Special Purpose Force is currently undergoing its unique training to prepare for possible missions that may await them.  The MSPF, which consist of 1st Force Reconnaissance Marines, 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment Marines and Human Exploitation Team, Command Element Marines, began training Nov. 12, scheduled to last through Feb. 14.

Some courses the Marines must complete include the Specialized Demolition, Dynamic Entry, Security Element, Close Quarters Battle and Interoperability courses.

The Specialized Demolition course covers training in advanced explosive techniques that will allow the selected Marines to conduct localized degradation or destruction on specific target sites.

Dynamic Entry instructs selected Marines in special skills required to perform dynamic entry into a crisis site.  The course includes classes in explosives, mechanical and thermal breaching techniques.

The Security Element course provides Marines lessons on how to secure an inner perimeter of a mission site, perform interior security duties for the assault element and conduct hostage handling.

The Close Quarter Battle course teaches students planning and execution of deliberate and emergency assaults and CQB tactics and techniques.

Near the end of their MSPF training the Marines must complete the Interoperability exercise.  The exercise will test the combined skills of each element in the MSPF.

"The training is very tough," said Col. Michael R. Regner, commanding officer, 13th MEU.  "The mountainous terrain in the local area will give the Marines a chance not just to be experts in weapons employment or communications capabilities, but also have advanced skills in land navigation and terrain analysis."

The training the Marines experience will allow them to engage missions such as deep reconnaissance, Hostage Rescue in an Urban Environment, Special Demolition Operations, Clandestine Recovery of Personnel and Equipment, Gas and Oil Platform Operations, Clandestine Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Direct Action and Close Quarters Battle and Maritime Interdiction Operations.

The MSPF brings the capability of planning and executing special warfare missions that no other standard unit in the Marine Corps has the capability of conducting, said Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey A. Morin, 13th MEU.

According to the Marines participating in the MSPF courses, the skills they learn are vital to their mission.

"Everyone should be able to go through this course," said 23-year-old Philadelphian Cpl. Clint K. Walker, team leader, 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company B, while going through the Security Element Course.  "You never know what you might encounter in a battle."

13th Marine Expeditionary Unit