If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, which I’m sure you have, you know that multiple countries throughout the world are igniting with anti-American protests and violence. Recently, there was an attack on the United States Consulate in Libya, killing multiple Americans including a diplomat, former Navy Seal and others. Protests have been raging throughout the Arabic world, condemning the US for a film created by Israeli-American Sam Bacile, which depicted Islam as a hateful religion.
With the safety of Americans abroad becoming a legitimate concern, the US government has begun to take action. In the case of Libya, where things are really getting out of hand, the US Marines have been deployed.
Some 50 U.S. Marines headed to Libya on Wednesday to reinforce security at U.S. diplomatic facilities in the aftermath of an attack in the eastern city of Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, officials said.
The Marines are members of an elite group known as a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, or FAST, whose role is to respond on short notice to terrorism threats and to reinforce security at U.S. embassies. They operate worldwide. The contingent that was dispatched to Libya was based in Spain.
U.S. embassies, particularly in major countries and in unstable or less secure nations, usually have a resident contingent of Marine security guards. Early indications were that there were not at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. A consulate is a branch office in major cities outside the capital. These guards work under the supervision of the senior diplomatic officer at an embassy.
The main role of Marine security guards is to protect classified national security documents, according to the website of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, which administers the security guard mission from a Marine base in Virginia. Their secondary role is to protect U.S. citizens and U.S. government property in the event of an emergency.
The Marines began their security guard mission in 1948. They are trained at the Marine Security Guard School.
In rare cases, the Marines send a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, or a portion of the team, to reinforce security at embassies. They were sent to Africa, for example, in response to the 1998 terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. A FAST group also provided security aboard a Navy hospital ship in New York following the 9/11 attacks. -Marine Corps Times
It’s always worth noting any time the United States Marine Corps is deployed into a hostile environment. As Marine Officer Candidates, it’s important to be aware of both the past, present and future of the Marine Corps. While only 50 Marines of the elite FAST have been deployed, if things get out of control, there are certainly more who are ready to follow into action.
What do you think about the current events that are taking place throughout the world and what effect do you think that they will have on the USMC? Sound off in the comments.