MARSOC Motorcycle gangs- special Marine teams roamed the hills of Afghanistan in search of Taliban back in 2012. No not fancy bikes off the show room floor, but small two-stroke engines that allowed them to navigate like the Taliban. They were MSOT, Marine Special Operations Teams.
The Taliban’s worst nightmare
From Battle Rattle in 2012:
MARSOC teams use these small-engine bikes to get around in the Afghan mountains. Before some units deploy, the command sends them through a super-sensitive training program that provides five days of schooling on off-road riding and general motorcycle maintenance.
Golembesky published his photos on SofRep.com, a site that tracks U.S. and British special operations news. An accompanying narrative describes how Marine special operations teams have been using dirt bikes and ATVs to track down Taliban fighters in the dead of night. The small vehicles allow them to swiftly maneuver in areas where larger vehicles can’t, and the noise they make keeps the enemy guessing by blending in with the sound of local traffic, Golembesky writes. Is it another villager — or one of the world’s most elite warriors swooping in for a kill? In some cases, where foreign bikes and ATVs are difficult to keep running, MARSOC Marines have used the same small motorcycles that Taliban fighters ride to make quick escapes after planting IEDs or taking potshots at U.S. patrols.
The ten man MSOT teams operated in the hills of Afghanistan with precision weapons and night optics, mostly in the middle of the night. Their motorcycles were “blacked out,” meaning no shiny paint was visible.
The huge advantage was that MSOT team motorcycles sounded exactly the same as Taliban bikes. So if someone heard them, they had no idea if hell was about to rain down or if they were fellow villagers.
[Marine Staff Sgt Michael Golembesky spent 2 yrs as a “joint terminal attack controller” with the MSOT 8222 in Afghanistan. The “attack controller” calls in air strikes.]
Afghanistan and Marines going back to Helmand Province
A 300 person task force of “advise and assist” Marines is scheduled to go back to Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Helmand province is where the country’s poppy fields grow and where the Taliban is deeply entrenched. The rotation will be 9 months long. US Marines have fought there before, and it appears they will have to do so again unless Trump changes the plan.
Will the MSOT teams ride again? Will they once again steal something from the Taliban playbook and hunt them down in the dead of night? It depends on the mission- the new “advise and assist” mission may not allow for anything as “misguided” as that kind of unconventional warfare. But then, there’s President-Elect Trump, the very epitome of “unconventional.”