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Special Reaction

U S M C Special Reaction Teams

U S M C Special Reaction Teams

The US Marine Corps maintains a surprisingly large number of elite specialized units within its ranks. One of the least known of these units, lies not within one of the Corps many combat units, but instead it operates under the direct control of the local Provost Marshal's Office (PMO). The unit is known as the Special Reaction Team, or SRT.

The mission of the SRT is to provide the post's commanding officer and the provost marshal with a credible response team for any major situation, such as a terrorist incident or a crisis situation. Should regular military police units be unable to resolve a situation, they can call on the resources of the installation's SRT.

SRTs are the Corps version of civilian Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team. They are capable of responding to situations ranging from hostage rescues, counter-sniper actions, and VIP protection details, to counter-terrorist and combat operations.

SRTs are strictly composed of specially selected, and trained volunteer military police (MP) personnel. Most installations only maintain part-time teams who's personnel conduct SRT training and operations in addition to their normal duties. Whereas larger installations, such as Quantico, VA and Camp Pendleton, CA, maintain full-time SRT units.

SRT personnel attended training at the US Army's Military Police Special Reaction Team course, and receive additional training at various military and police training courses throughout the country. Teams are trained in such diverse skills as , defensive tactics, CQB, precision shooting techniques, low light level shooting, night firing, building clearing, hostage rescue, the use of diversionary/distraction devices, rappelling, sniping, emergency medicine, tactical planning, and various other skills as deemed necessary.

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Training exercises are routinely conducted by the team to gage their level of proficiency in the executing these missions.

Joint training exercises are also conducted with similar military and civilian units as a way to insure standardization of procedures in case of a joint operation, and to stay abreast of new techniques and equipment. Teams also make extensive use of US military, and civilian training facilities.

SRT personnel are outfitted with specialized equipment to help them execute their assigned missions. This includes Kevlar ballistic helmets, "Body Bunker" ballistic shields, Nomex flame resistant flight suits, customized Kevlar assault vest, AN/ PVS-7B NVGs, and secure communications gear.

Weapons include the M-9 9mm pistol, the M-16A2 and M-4 rifles, Remington 870 shotguns, HK MP-5 series of 9mm SMGs, Remington M-40 sniper rifles, M-203 40mm grenade launchers, and various distraction devices. Heavier weapons such as the M-249 SAW, M-240 GPMG, and MK-19 40 heavy machine gun are also available for use in certain situations.