The U.S. Marine Corps is considering a new relationship with special operations forces as it faces a personnel drawdown, said a Marine Expeditionary Force commander. Lt. Gen. John Toolan, USMC, commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force, told a Wednesday panel audience at West 2014 in San Diego that the Corps is looking harder at how it integrates with special operations forces.
Gen. Toolan stated that the Corps has special operations force elements that tie into Marine forces directly when the Corps deploys. The next deployment of the 11 Marine Expeditionary Unit will feature these new ties, he said.
The general added that, as the Corps becomes smaller, it will depend on other service forces and allies to a greater degree. He cited a need to work more closely with the U.S. Navy on connectors between ships and shore. Current amphibious vehicles are getting old, he added.
Another issue facing the Corps is operational mobility. “We still have a lot to do,” in that area, he admitted.