The End of the Road for the 4th MEB (AT)
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The United States Marine Corps leapt to the forefront of antiterrorism operations in October 2001 when it established the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade Antiterrorism 4th MEB AT, just weeks after the events of September 11, 2001. The establishment of an antiterrorism Marine air-ground task force MAGTF was a ground-breaking endeavor that provided the nation with a greater sense of security when it was most needed. Over the past four years it has become apparent that the 4th MEB AT is an organization that the Marine Corps and the nation wants, but does not require. As the Marine Corps executes its continued mission in the Global War on Terrorism GWOT, it is evident that the 59 officers and 165 enlisted Marines that compose the 4th MEB AT command element could better serve the Marine Corps and the nation in other capacities, namely as members of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command MarSOC. The Marine Corps was able to remain innovative by establishing the 4th MEB AT in October 2001, but the brigade is no longer necessary. By not claiming to be a MAGTF, MarSOC will be able to exist as a flexible organization, not governed by the constraints of traditional Marine Corps doctrine. MarSOC can avoid facing the training problems faced by the units within the 4th MEB AT by maintaining special missions training branches at Camp LeJeune and Camp Pendleton. As a member of Special Operations Command, deployed MarSOC units will possess a clear operational chain of command which will allow unit commanders to focus on the mission at hand. The lessons learned by the Marine Corps during the brief lifespan of the 4th MEB AT will prove to be of great assistance during the formative years of MarSOC.
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