MARSOC will continue to support military operations in every theater across the globe, including missions from the sea, as Marine special operators embrace post-war amphibious missions.
The first six-man Special Operations Forces Liaison Element wrapped up a seven-month deployment with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in February. The team, which was led by a MARSOC officer and included enlisted troops from across the special operations forces, enabled the MEU to participate in 31 joint missions across two combatant commands.
SOFLEs are meant to encourage communication and coordination between Marines deployed to a region and special operations forces operating there. That type of coordination between the Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command was a priority outlined in Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford's planning guidance and the Corps' post-war road map called Expeditionary Force 21.
MARSOC will also lead the next rotation of operators into Iraq as special operators work with troops to train local troops to fight the Islamic State group.
Here's a look at what else Osterman says is on tap for MARSOC in the year ahead. Responses have been edited for clarity.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman, head of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, addresses members of the media following a Navy Cross ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Osterman said his command has grown into a mature organization over the past nine years.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Maricela Bryant/Marine Corps
Q. What new training or initiatives will MARSOC Raiders see in 2016 in the next 12 months?
Q. Another SOFLE The Special Operations Forces Liaison Element proof of concept phase is wrapped up a deployment with the return of the 24th MEU in June. arine Expeditionary Unit. From MARSOC's perspective, hHow did the concept work, and are there? Are there any ways it can be improved or developed in the for future teams?
Q.What other parts of the world and missions are current priorities for MARSOC?
Q.What are some of the benefits of sending Raiders on those rotations? other parts of the world and missions are current priorities for MARSOC?
Q. Earlier this year you mentioned the possibility of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces linking up with SOF teams to improve interoperability. How has that concept progressed or evolved?
A. I can say that at MARSOC we have seen a growing dialog and interaction between the SP-MAGTFs and SOF over the last year.
Q: With Jade Helm winding down, what has been the extent of MARSOC troops' participating in the exercise? What have been the benefits of being a part of it and what skills have the Marines been able to hone?
A: I won't address specific exercises, but I will say that our objectives with every exercise we conduct or participate in, whether Jade Helm, Dawn Blitz, our own Raven exercises or overseas exercises with partner nations, is to rehearse and refine our SOF skills, the collective capabilities of our reinforced Marine Special Operations Companies and our ability to integrate and interoperate with conventional forces on the joint battlefield.
Q. What is MARSOC's current force end-strength, and have goals for that number for MARSOC? Have end strength goals changed at all?
Q. MARSOC reviewed training standards ahead of the possibility that the command will open to women in 2016. Has that review been completed, and has MARSOC made any changes to its training or practices as a result? Has the review of MARSOC training standards ahead of force integration been completed at this point? Has MARSOC made any changes to its practices or training as a result of the review?
A. MARSOC is adhering to the requirement to review and validate standards as gender neutral.