The video, from Moura Graphics, concentrates on the United States Marine Corps’ Force Reconnaissance companies, showing the soldiers gearing up on carriers, practicing shooting on board a ship, manning rafts, conducting drills on the open ocean, underwater, from aircraft and on the shore.
Also known as Force Recon, these companies are under the United States Marine Corps’ special operations capable forces or SOC. They provide important pieces of military intelligence to the command element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, support task force commanders and operating units of the Fleet Marine Force.
The Force Recon companies, detachments and platoons perform deep reconnaissance and direct action operations, though some missions are now shared by the Marine Special Operations Teams because of the creation of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) in 2006. MARSOC came directly from Force Recon’s direct action platoons, so FORECON companies can now concentrate on intelligence gathering and on conducting Visit, Board, Search and Seizure parts of raid missions.
FORECON functions independently behind enemy lines, completing unconventional special operations to support conventional warfare. The unit’s methods using airborne, heliborne, waterborne and submarine extractions and insertions are similar to those performed by the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, 75th Ranger Regiment and Air Force Combat Controllers.
During the Vietnam War, two kinds of FORECON mission emerged: Key Hole and Sting Ray. These became known as deep reconnaissance, or green operations, and direct action, or black operations. Key Hole units focused on reconnaissance and surveillance, with light equipment and defensive weapons, and evasive measures employed to get away from the enemy. Sting Ray was the direct opposite, being more offensive in nature, and units on these missions are heavily armed. However, FORECON mission are versatile in nature, so Key Hole can become Sting Ray quickly.
Currently, there are three FORECON companies active, with the 3rd and 4th FORECON serving as Selected Reserve assets. FORECON units report directly to the 4th Marine Division Commanding General.