Marines Ready to Reinforce Embassy Security after Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement

 In Military

Embassy Security – In 2012, when the Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi was attacked, there were 152 Marine Units attached to Embassies around the world. By 2016, there were 175 units guarding US facilities in 150 countries.  The Marine Security Augmentation Units can be called on whenever needed to assist the MSGs already in place. And they may definitely be needed with all the threats from Muslims worldwide over Trump’s announcement on Dec 6.

The MSAU typically deploy in smaller squad-sized teams. Embassies also have access to FAST teams. The most difficult part of any deployment is speed – how fast can the teams get there. As long as there are no hitches deployment, as there was in Benghazi, the speed is remarkable. The Marine Corps Times reported,

When U.S. embassies come under threat of attack, Marines can reinforce them with combat-equipped troops such as Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams. Each FAST company consists of about 50 Marines divided into two platoons, Corps officials said. At any given time, four FAST companies are deployed to overseas location and between eight and nine FAST platoons are training in Virginia for upcoming deployments.

The Corps also has sea-based units and land-based Special-Purpose Air-Ground Task Forces to quickly reinforce embassies and other diplomatic posts in the Middle East and Africa. In July 2014, about 80 Marines from the Africa task force helped to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya.

The State Department and Defense Department declined to say whether any of these Marine units were dispatched to the Middle East prior to Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem yesterday.

“Our Marine Security Guard Augmentation Units maintain a high state of readiness and can rapidly respond when called upon.” U.S. Central Command spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques 

Marine Security Guard ribbon

Marine Security Guards -MSGs-Marine Corps Embassy Security Group 

The Marine units normally stationed at Embassies are called MSGs, or Marine Security Guards and are formally with the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis with MSGs at the U.S. Embassy in London on March 31, 2017. (DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Corps Stories wrote,

When attacked, MSGs are first in harm’s way. While a few assaults included rocks and bottles thrown over embassy property walls, most include gunfire, grenades, rockets, other explosives – including suicide bombers…

…Any Marine, with any Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), may apply to the MSG program, which provides training in Quantico, Virginia. However, if the arduous selection process isn’t enough to narrow a candidate field, the personal life restrictions often is. MSGs must commit to not marrying during the three-year, three-embassy, tour. Although “why” was not asked, assumedly logistical issues of moving entire families across the globe every 12 months plays a significant role. And presumably, the need to house Marines all together at the embassy they protect is likely another deciding explanation.

MSG training:

Featured photo: screenshot of MSG training

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