Marines Bolstering US Embassy Haiti After Violent Protests
As we previously reported, protests in Haiti became extremely violent over the weekend. The violence was blamed on fuel prices. US Embassy Haiti issued a shelter-in-place warning to Americans that were trapped at the time. The Embassy requested the assistance of an MSAU – Marine Security Guard Augmentation Unit, which as on its way Tuesday, according to the Marine Corps Times.
The MSAU personnel are called upon to assist diplomatic facilities that are in serious danger.
“The exact locations and number of Marines deployed from the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU) are not releasable. MSAU Marines deploy to augment and provide increased security to requested U.S. diplomatic facilities in order to protect U.S. personnel and national security assets.” Capt. Karoline Foote, Marine spokesperson
The situation turned violent on July 6 after the Haitian preseident proposed fuel hikes to “balance the budget.” He cancelled those increases on July 7, but the violence not only continued but escalated. US Embassy Haiti called for help.
MSAU 24/7 readiness
Suzanne Whang | Marine Corps Embassy Security Group wrote in 2015:
The U.S. Marines who serve in MSAU are MSGs on their second or third posts. They have also received supplementary training from both the U.S. Marine Corps and DS Mobile Security Deployments (MSD) in tactics, techniques, and procedures that align with both DS and MCESG standards. Once deployed, they hit the ground running and bring to bear their extensive operational experience.
In addition to deploying before and after times of political unrest, MSAU also supports posts after natural disasters, during large construction projects, and for U.S. VIP visits. MSAU is strictly an interim augmentation option for embassies and consulates that can deploy in numbers tailored to meet the requirements set by the regional security officer (RSO). The number of Marines in an MSAU deployment has ranged from five to 26. Unlike other military quick-reaction forces, these are MSGs deploy under chief of mission authority, not under Department of Defense (DOD) and combatant commander control.
The Travel Advisory for #Haiti remains at Level 4: Do Not Travel. There is currently widespread civil unrest and violent demonstrations. Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. https://t.co/WKAqYF9seI pic.twitter.com/DHS0jjksHY
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) July 12, 2018
Featured photo: 02.21.2014 Photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe, MCB Quantico Combat Camera