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FORCE DEVELOPMENT FOCUS AREA

Security Cooperation Force Development Focus Area:

The Marine Corps conducts security cooperation activities to build the capacity of partner nations’ security forces; build/establish relationships; and facilitate or provide access. The activities envisioned as a key contribution of Expeditionary Force 21 to meet GCC requirements involve actions associated with security cooperation with partner nations. Security cooperation provides a means for forward-deployed forces to prevent or mitigate conflict at a reasonable cost. Building partner capacity often results in more responsible, competent security forces, able to resolve a local crisis before it becomes a threat to U.S. interests and requires intervention. Security cooperation also positions U.S. forces for potential military operations by fostering interoperability with future coalition partners, increasing operational access, and providing opportunities for sustainment training.

The Marine Corps tailors its general purpose forces to meet evolving GCC requirements. Marine Corps forces receive training appropriate to the AOR to which they deploy, and are supported with the required enabling capabilities. Force options include: training teams, task forces, and MAGTFs. MAGTFs most frequently utilized for security cooperation are SPMAGTFs and MEUs. SPMAGTFs for both crisis response and theater security cooperation are constructed to meet the needs of a particular region, are sea and/or land based, and support GCC objectives by conducting a range of activities such as the training of foreign security forces, multinational exercises, and information sharing. MEUs focus on crisis response. The MEU’s primary steady-state activities are deterrence and forward presence, but MEUs also conduct a range of security cooperation activities with a focus on multinational exercises and other activities that enhance interoperability with capable partner nation forces.

Expeditionary Force 21 expands on recent experience as well as on-going regional activities. Capability development to promote partnership building should focus on:

  • Imparting proven methods to support staffs and forces in Expeditionary Force 21’s regionally oriented MEBs, SPMAGTFs, and MEUs.
  • Enhancing integration with regional components.
  • Maintaining institutional security cooperation/security force assistance knowledge and capability by continuing to emphasize task-organized  forces enabled by dedicated security cooperation activities.
  • Institutionalizing and increasing engagement and Information Operations (IO) training requirements for a larger number of deployable units to include employment of alternative shipping and alternative force compositions.
  • Supporting MEUs and SPMAGTFs with deployable teams from the Marine Corps Information Operations Center (MCIOC).
  • Ensuring Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps forward-deployed forces gain and maintain regional understanding and awareness through liaison with the regional MARFOR and greater integration with TSOCs and their persistently deployed teams within priority nations in each AOR.


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