Tags: Middle East | Marines | embassy | security | Yemen

Marines Play Critical Role in Embassy Security

Image: Marines Play Critical Role in Embassy Security
(Oleg Zabielin | Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 03:08 PM

On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that a "changing security situation" on the ground in Yemen had resulted in the further reduction in American personnel at the U.S. embassy.

Today, CNN reports that while the State Department is updating evacuations plans in case the situation worsens, there are no plans to leave the embassy.

Yemen is one of the three countries in which infantry Marines have been dispatched to bolster security at American outposts, reports the Military Times.

In October, almost 100 members of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, returned to the U.S. after a five-month deployment to Yemen to provide security at the embassy. A similar size group also deployed in 2013 to reinforce the same embassy, Military Times reports.

Since the deadly September 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. Marine grunts have been stationed in Libya and Iraq.

Security at American embassies and consulates, particularly in the Middle East, has received greater priority since the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, which illustrated the danger noncombat personnel face.

In addition to using Marine grunts to backfill security positions, they are assisting in the training of members of the Diplomatic Security Services (DSS), reports The Associated Press.

Since the Benghazi attack, the State Department has implemented numerous changes to strengthen diplomatic security, including lengthening the term of the preparation course taken by members of the DSS.

The course, which is conducted at an undisclosed military base in Virginia, has been extended from five to 10 weeks. The Marines have lent their expertise to the DSS by creating "a more intense training regime," including building a replica city called Erehwon, which is nowhere spelled backward.

Exercises include simulations designed to help detect and repel attacks from extremists or violent protesters that embassy staff may face.

Mark Hipp, a deputy assistant secretary of State for diplomatic security training, tells the AP that the DSS has "to train for the worst-case scenarios," and that the training is required for 27 posts worldwide.

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On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that a "changing security situation" on the ground in Yemen had resulted in the further reduction in American personnel at the U.S. embassy.
Marines, embassy, security, Yemen
361
2014-08-11
Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 03:08 PM
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