Systems Alliance Marine Force Reconnaissance assets were elite Special Forces light infantry units of the
that conducted special reconnaissance in the deep battlespace to provide operational and strategic intelligence to Marine Expeditionary Brigades and Marine Expeditionary Forces. Though principally tasked with deep reconnaissance, they were also capable of direct action, joint fire observation, combat search and rescue, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorism.
Force Reconnaissance assets on the tactical level were organized into Marine Force Reconnaissance Companies, of which one Force Reconnaissance Company was nominally subordinated to each Marine Ground Division (and to its higher Marine Expeditionary Force). This provided each Ground Division and Expeditionary Force with a deep reconnaissance and direct action capability. However, operationally, while Force Reconnaissance Companies were answerable to the G2 (Operations Officer) of the Ground Division, they were ultimately under the command of the Systems Alliance Special Operations Command, which supervised the attachment of Force Reconnaissance assets. During the embarkation of Marine Expeditionary Brigades, the Expeditionary Force's Force Reconnaissance Company was usually re-allocated to the Corsair Regiment (Airborne) of the Expeditionary Brigade. Furthermore, during the formation of Joint Special Operations Task Forces, one or more Marine Force Reconnaissance Companies were reassigned to the Joint Task Force.
In the battle doctrine of the Systems Alliance Special Operations Command, Marine Force Reconnaissance Companies provided contributions to both the special reconnaissance and direct action missions fulfilled by the Systems Alliance Special Forces.
The standard Order of Battle for a Marine Force Reconnaissance Company contained: one Headquarters Platoon, one Service Support Platoon, and three Reconnaissance Platoons.
The Company Commander was a
responsible for the command and control of the platoon, and who was typically answerable to the Division G-2 Operations Officer, a
. The commanding officer and his staff were contained within the Headquarters Platoon, which commanded the Reconnaissance Platoons generally from a secure operating area behind friendly lines, though in certain circumstances, the Headquarters Platoon could be forward-deployed in the Forward Edge of the Battle Area if it provided the Force Reconnaissance commander better tactical visibility of the situation. The major personnel in the Headquarters Platoon included the Commanding Officer, the Executive Officer, the Company Chief, the S1 Administration Chief, the S2 Intelligence Officer, the S3 Operations Officer, and the S3 Operations Chief.
- Commanding Officer: A
, responsible for command and control of the Force Reconnaissance Company and directly responsible providing both special reconnaissance and direct action capabilities to the higher Marine Ground Division, Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Expeditionary Brigade, or Joint Special Operations Task Force
- Executive Officer: A
, responsible for coordinating staff activities for the commanding officer, for organizing the tactical command post, and acting as second-in-command of the Force Reconnaissance Company and assuming command in the event of the incapacitation of the commander
- Company Chief: An
, acting as the senior advisor to the commander and carrying out special tasks as requested by the commander
- S1 Administration Chief: An
, responsible for coordinating human resources issues related to the company
- S2 Intelligence Officer: A
, responsible for providing the commander with intelligence from lateral and higher headquarters and organizing intelligence collected by the Reconnaissance Platoons
- S3 Operations Officer: A
, responsible for overseeing the execution of the immediate operation as per ordered by the commander
- S3 Operations Chief: An
, responsible for advising the S3 Operations Officer
The Reconnaissance Platoon was a 15-man Special Forces light infantry unit that was the deployed reconnaissance and combat unit of the Force Reconnaissance Company. All of its members mandatorily had to undergo Corsair Indoctrination and Special Forces Indoctrination and Fortification, and were qualified in various forced entry techniques, such as air assault, airborne operations, and orbital insertion operations. It was capable of being detached into three separate 5-man teams, known as "patrols", which were the common operational unit size for reconnaissance missions.
- 1. Commanding Officer: A
, responsible for direct command and control of the Reconnaissance Platoon
- 2. Executive Officer: A
, responsible for command of secondary units detached from the Reconnaissance Platoon
- 3. Platoon Chief: An
, acting as the senior advisor to the commanding officer on operational procedure
- 4. Platoon Technician: An
, responsible for operation and maintenance of special mission equipment operated by the Reconnaissance Platoon
- 5. Operations Chief: An
, acting as the assistant to the Platoon Chief on operational procedure
- 6 & 7. Signals Chief (2): A
, responsible for providing VHF and SATCOM communications capabilities to the platoon
- 8 & 9. Engineer Chief (2): A
, responsible for providing demolitions, breaching, LZ and austere airfield preparation, and de-mining capabilities to the platoon
- 10 & 11. Medical Chief (2): A
, responsible for providing battlefield trauma support and chemical augmentation to the platoon
- 12 & 13. Sniper Chief (2): A
, responsible for providing standoff fire support and long-range visual reconnaissance to the platoon
- 14. Platoon Point Man: A
, specially trained in close quarters battle and the point man in close quarters assaults
- 15. Platoon Machine-Gunner: A
, responsible for providing machine-gun fire support and automatic suppression fires for the platoon
The full-strength platoon at combat effective status therefore consisted of two commissioned officers, three senior noncommissioned officers, and ten junior noncommissioned officers. Core leadership was provided by the commander (a
), the executive officer (a
), and the platoon chief (an
). When the 15-man team was detached into three 5-man patrols for reconnaissance operations, each one of the three core leaders typically led one patrol apiece.
The platoon chief was the senior noncommissioned advisor to the platoon commander, and advised him on operational doctrine in the field. The platoon chief himself or herself was assisted by the operations chief (also an
). The third senior noncommissioned officer was the platoon technician (an
), who operated and maintained the platoon's special mission equipment, oftentimes portable signals intelligence collection equipment and compact electronic warfare suites.
The majority of the platoon was comprised of ten junior noncommissioned officers, all
s (Platoon Grade Leaders) or
(Squad Grade Leaders). All junior chiefs had specialities within the platoon, and each specialty within the platoon was redundant in that at least two chiefs held the specialization. This was such that if the platoon sustained casualties or operated subordinated detachments, it would still retain personnel in each specialty.
- Signals Chiefs provided ground-to-ground, ground-to-air, and ground-to-space communications capabilities to the platoon in the form of Very High Frequency (VHF) and Satellite Communications (SATCOM) signals assets, allowing the reconnaissance platoon to communicate with its headquarters, its lateral Marine units, and to Marine aircraft and Navy warships as necessary.
- Engineer Chiefs principally carried demolitions materiel in order to facilitate destruction of enemy materiel, buildings, and armor, as well as to breach into close-quarters environments, to establish LZs and airfields for friendly forces, and also were able to de-mine minefields.
- Medical Chiefs provided battlefield trauma management for wounded Force Reconnaissance operators in order to stabilize them until they could be evacuated to higher headquarters for advanced medical treatment.
- Sniper Chiefs comprised the platoon's sniper element — each Force Reconnaissance platoon had a dedicated 2-man sniper cell that provided standoff sniper fire support from long range, provided long-range visual reconnaissance, and also provided a selective-neutralization capability against targeted enemy personnel (read: assassination).
There were two other junior noncommissioned officers that played specialized roles within the platoon.
- The Point Man received intensive and rigorous indoctrination in close quarters battles (CQB) techniques such that he was the platoon's specialist in close-quarters assaults and engagements. During breaching operations into buildings and rooms and platoon assaults on selected urban buildings, he was the first Force Reconnaissance Marine into the breach, and was the team's specialist on hostage rescue situations and the recovery of sensitive personnel and equipment from buildings.
- The Machine Gunner operated the platoon's machine gun, and provided heavy fire support and a mobile fire support for the platoon in order to defeat and suppress enemy infantry and to deter enemy light armor. Often, the Machine Gunner and the two Sniper Chiefs formed a 3-man overwatch element that provided security for the rest of the platoon while it advanced forward into enemy territory.
Force Reconnaissance Marines are typically clad in
to provide protection against infantry weapons and to construct a closed-loop environment to allow for Force Reconnaissance special operators to operate in any kind of adverse environmental or meteorological conditions, such as extreme cold or in toxic atmospheres on hostile worlds. According to Standard Battle Order, the hardsuits of Alliance Marines are colored according to grey-and-white urban camouflage, affording maximum stealth for Force Reconnaissance Marines operating in urban and mountain conditions. However, given the variegated environments that Force Reconnaissance Marines operate in, their hardsuits are often alternatively colored to grey-and-brown desert camouflage, green, brown, and black jungle camouflage, or white-and-tan snow camouflage.
The standard service weapon for Force Reconnaissance operators is the M15 Vindicator Battle Rifle, a highly-accurate weapon capable of mid-range engagement. Typically,
are loaded to increase penetration against hardened and armored targets. Ammunition such as
are often avoided because they leave instantly-identifiable wounds on corpses.
The two sniper specialists attached to each platoon typically employ the
, a semiautomatic and highly-accurate weapon capable of long-range engagement and especially effective against armored and hardened targets. The M97 Viper was intended for anti-infantry application. Rarely, for missions anticipating enemy armor, the
would be equipped to provide anti-armor and anti-materiel application.
The platoon machine-gunner typically operated the
, a machine-gun with an extremely high fire volume used for infantry suppression and destruction.
Oftentimes, most Force Reconnaissance personnel carried reserve sidearms, such as the
, a high-capacity sidearm, in the event of primary weapon malfunction or loss of the primary weapon during a crash landing or emergency situation. Additionally, the M3 Predator was readily disassembled and concealable, and could be employed by undercover Force Reconnaissance Marines operating undercover in espionage or human intelligence collection capacities. The Point Man typically carried a
in order to facilitate his close-quarters battle role.