The US Marine Security Augmentation Unit has deployed twice in the past 30 days to support and protect embassies in Africa and the Caribbean.
The rapid reaction force consists of 145 Marines who can deploy in small teams anytime from Quantico, Va., To anywhere in the world, including a small African nation like Eswatini.
A team of 13 Marines deployed to Eswatini on June 30 as thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce their King Mswati III, who lives in luxury as his citizens starve to death.
Another team was deployed on July 16 the day after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse to support the United States Embassy “out of excess of caution”.
These two missions marked the 106th and 107th missions of the MSAU since the group’s creation in 2013, reported Task and Purpose.
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The MSAU was founded following the 2012 attack on Benghazi, which left a United States ambassador and three other Americans dead. Members bring a variety of professional experiences and specialties, including medicine, close combat, shooting, analysis and increasing security, creating one of the most experienced and greatest security details. elites of the planet.
The corps deploys primarily by air, but also includes sea-based units and land-based air-to-ground special forces.
New members undergo training at the Marine Security Guard School in Quantico for six weeks, during which they learn the details of Embassy duty and qualify for the use of particular firearms: the Glock 19 pistol, the MK18 short barrel rifle and M870 shotgun.
The officers then serve in a post overseas before a region commander recommends that they join the MSAU.
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“Marines assigned to service at MSAU are reviewed by the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group Headquarters for their performance, decision-making, leadership skills and tactical skills,” said Capt.Andrew Wood , spokesperson for the Marines. “Once assigned to the unit, MSAU personnel assess the capabilities of each Marine and provide advanced training in MSG and diplomatic security skills.”
The Marines alone are not deploying to defend these sites, however: the diplomatic security service’s mobile deployment team could help, which it did during the Eswatini protests, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Defense.
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The MSAU has also been deployed on such notable occasions as the Bangkok protests in 2013-14 and the yellow vests protests in Paris in 2017.
One of MSAU’s largest deployments has seen 80 Marines deployed to Tripoli to help evacuate the United States Embassy, the Marine Corps Times reported.
“Our Maritime Security Guard Augmentation units maintain a high state of readiness and can respond quickly when called upon,” said US Central Command spokesperson Major Josh Jacques.