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MCESG adds unit, doubles in number of Marine embassy security guards

26 Jun 2013 | Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite

Marine Corps Embassy Security Group has received authorization to add 1,000 Marine embassy security guards to a force that is already approximately 1,200 strong, over the next three years through National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.

With the additional 1,000 Marines also comes an additional 35 locations the Marines could serve at while on Marine Security Guard duty and the responsibility to stand up a more then 120-man Marine Security Augmentation Unit, which will be stationed on Quantico, said Frank Baker, executive director of MCESG.

To train the additional Marines, MCESG currently plans on increasing class sizes, though it is currently working with Manpower and Reserve Affairs to develope the exact plan, said Baker. Currently, MCESG hosts five courses per year with more than 200 Marines in each class.

In addition to those five courses, which are 6-7 weeks long depending on if the student is a watch stander or detachment commander, MCESG will start offering a three week course for members of the new unit, MSAU. The detachment commanders arrive one week earlier than the watch standers to get additional administrative training they will need as a detachment commander, said Frank.

MSAU will be comprised of nine platoons, each ready at a moments notice to augment the security forces at any given U.S. embassy around the world, he added. The first commanding officer of MSAU is scheduled to be Maj. David Emell, who will arrive on Quantico in July for additional training. The first three squads of the unit will also arrive in July for training.

To be part of MSAU, the Marines must have served at atleast one embassy for a year and must complete the three week training, Baker said.

Currently, the plan is to have the new unit up and running by the end of the year, with the second group of three platoons attending trainng in September and the last group attending training in December.

"We're looking forward to having the assett and being able to augment embassies ahead of time," said Col. Robinson, MCESG commanding officer. "The big lesson learned (from Benghazi) is to get people there ahead of time."

Once the unit is stood up, it  will be sent out, one platoon at a time, to embassies where the ambassador has indications that there is an increased threat level, Frank explained. The unit will be able to augment a Marine detachment already in place or an embassy without a detachment that feels threatened, he added.

There are four tangible requirements a Marine must meet prior to serving on MSG duty, said Robinson. They must be able to be given top secret clearance; they must be single if sergeant or below or have no more than four dependants if a staff non-commissioned officer; they must be financially stable; and they must have atleast 36 months left on their contract, he said.

Some intangible requirements they will need to pass the training include: maturity, judgement and the ablility to work well in a small group, he added.

MCESG is scheduled to have a change of command ceremony on July 12, 2013.

 

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Correspondent: rebekka.heite@usmc.mil

 


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