WASHINGTON – The Pentagon, in conjunction with the State Department, has increased the presence of Marine Corps security forces at a number of US embassies in the Middle East and Africa in light of increased tensions and unrest following the US decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, according to several military officials, KSAT 12 reports.
“DOD takes necessary steps to mitigate threats to U.S. personnel, embassies and consulates around the world. At the request of the Department of State, and in coordination with host nations, the Department of Defense has deployed additional Marine Security Guards to several U.S. embassies for the purpose of temporarily augmenting security.” ~ Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich
Escalating violence in the Gaza strip area has also led to increased concern it could spark demonstrations in other locations.
In the event a U.S. embassy or consulate were to come under the threat of attack, Marine Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams, known as FAST companies, would be deployed to respond, according to the Marine Corps. The teams are designed to prevent or react to an overrun of U.S. government assets and protect employees and property. FAST units typically deploy as platoons of about 50 Marines.
Rebarich said the Pentagon could not say how many Marines were deployed or to which embassies, citing security concerns. The Marines were deployed from the Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit from Quantico, Va., a unit designed specifically to respond to such security threats worldwide at the State Department’s request, a Marine official said.
NBC News reported the additional Marines were sent to embassies in Israel, Jordan and Turkey, citing five unnamed defense officials. They reported only modest increases of more than 10 but less than several dozen Marines at each location, according to three of the unnamed officials.
Marine Corps Embassy Security Group
“Vigilance, Discipline, Professionalism”
The mission of the Marine Security Guards is to provide protection to mission personnel and prevent the compromise of national security information and equipment at designated diplomatic and consular facilities. Marine Security Guards will be prepared to execute plans for the protection of the mission and its personnel as directed by the chief of mission or principal officer through the regional security officer.
Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG) Region Commands report to the Commanding Officer of MCESG and exercise command, less operational supervision, of Marines assigned to the Marine Security Guard (MSG) detachments in their respective regions. The MCESG Region Headquarters ensure the continued training, operational readiness, personnel administration, logistical support, as well as the morale, welfare, and discipline of Marines assigned for duty to MSG detachments at designated U.S. diplomatic missions in order to support the Department of State in the protection of classified material at foreign posts. MCESG.Marines.Mil
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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