Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit deploys to US Embassy in Eswatini following civil unrest in the country
7 Jul 2021

U.S. Marines from the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit were part of the response team, along with the Diplomatic Security Service Mobile Security Deployments team, to the U.S. Embassy in Eswatini following the country’s civil unrest on June 30.

Based in Quantico, Va., the team of 13 Marines deployed on short notice to the embassy to support on-ground embassy security personnel. This is the MSAU’s 106th Security Augmentation mission.

Following the terrorist attack in Benghazi in 2012, the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group created the MSAU. During periods of increased threat, the MSAU’s primary mission is to provide specially trained augmentation security forces to designated U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities overseas. The MSAU is deployed at the request of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.

Although MSAU is a self-sufficient response element, frequently it works with DSS Mobile Security Deployments teams to enhance emergency response and planning at U.S. diplomatic missions across the world. The MSAUs add another layer of security for the Diplomatic Security Service to help protect U.S. diplomatic personnel and prevent the compromise of national security information and equipment. Since it was established, the MSAU has deployed on average every eight days.

The MSAU is a command inside of Marine Corps Embassy Security Group and provides the Marine Corps the ability to deploy small task-organized units in support of the U.S. Department of State. It is in a constant state of readiness to remain globally deployable on short notice. These Marines are trained in medical, close quarters battle, marksmanship, as well as security analysis and augmentation to existing security at various diplomatic facilities.

The MSAU missions have included deploying to Middle East posts on the 1st anniversary of Benghazi; replacing an Army battalion in Juba in 2013-2014; supporting multiple sites in Bangkok during the 2013-2014 political upheaval; and initiating a 2017 overland insertion into Paris during the beginning of what was to become the Yellow Vest Movement.