FET – Marines Training High Level Muslim Security Forces
FET- Marine Training High Level Muslim Security Forces
FET- Female Engagement Teams were re-initiated by the Marine Corps in 2015. The teams from the 15th MEU have been highly successful, as have the women from the 26th MEU.
As an example, in March, an FET out of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit trained Kuwaiti women who are in the Interior Ministry unit- the one that guards female VIPs, and is similar to our Secret Service.
A New Role
FET teams were disbanded four years ago by the Marine Corps when it appeared that they would no longer be needed. But upon request of partner nations, they were re-initiated in 2015. Instead of doing what they did before- mostly infantry patrols, they have given the a new role- as teachers.
The Marine Corps website stated in August of 2015,
Currently, the intent behind the 15th MEU’s FET is for subject matter expert exchange, meaning they’re looking more to be a liaison partner and teach instead of doing more patrolling and infantry-type work as seen with previous FETs.
The FET from the 15th MEU completed an assignment in Qatar in September of 2015. It was considered a strong success.
USMC worked with the new members of the teams to create women with strong knowledge and expertise in the subject matter they were using. Since Muslim females are not allowed to be taught by males, the Marines needed something to assist in the instruction of the females charged with protecting high profile women.
The 26th MEU
The Marines in the 26th MEU asked command if they could form an FET, since the one in the 15th MEU was so successful. They were well-received.
Since then, they have “conducted specific training in personnel security detail operations and close-quarter combat.” They also had no lack of applicants, and were able to put together teams of well qualified women.
The Marine Corps Times reported,
Over two weeks, the Marines honed the Kuwaitis’ abilities to conduct personnel security operations, including reacting to contact, close quarter combat, detainee search and handling techniques, marksmanship and self-defense. The Kuwaitis were particularly interested in learning more about self-defense, Ash said.
A staff sergeant on the FET, the 26th MEU’s maintenance management chief, also happened to be a black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor.
“She was a great asset while we were there,” Ash said. “They don’t have female [martial arts] instructors, so that was an interesting engagement.”
A cultural exchange with women who are not allowed to do much of anything- seeing the American Marine women kick a** in ways they are not allowed to even think about has to make an impact. Literally.