Benghazi Disaster Prompts New Marine Rapid Response Force

Image: Benghazi Disaster Prompts New Marine Rapid Response Force Gen. James Amos, commandant of the U.S. Marines, says special-operations teams will be placed on Navy ships.

Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 09:58 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Rapid response U.S. Marine Corps forces will be placed on Navy ships in the wake of harsh criticism of bungled response to the Benghazi attack.

“When these crises happen, they happen instantaneously,” Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marines, told The Wall Street Journal. “If you are going to respond, you don’t have time to gather forces back in the U.S., load them on C-17s, fly them someplace and land them on some country’s airfield that might not want you on their ground."

Amos said the military is looking at adding special-operations teams of 14 Marines to ships carrying larger Marine Expeditionary Units.

“What if it is a takedown of a pirate ship? What if it is a rescue of American personnel in a really thorny situation?” he added. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have that capability on amphibious ships?”

The Marine Corps and Special Operations Command will reportedly stage a war game next month to help military officials make a final decision on rapid-reaction forces.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Sept. 11 when militants attacked the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The Journal says that if a rapid-response team had been in place, it “might have enabled the military to mount a long-range rescue attempt” which could have saved the men.

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