The deadly attack U.S. consulate compound attack in Libya in 2012 and other violent protests outside U.S. embassies prompted the Obama administration to vow to step up security at U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide.
Thursday, Camp Lejeune Marines trained to be part of that protection and to also build relationships overseas when they head to Africa in the next 60-70 days.
The Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF) practiced receiving evacuees from an embassy focusing on non combatant evacuation operations during three days of training this week at Bogue Field in Carteret County.
Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd marine Logistics Group also transformed an area of Bogue Field to feel like an African community to focus on theater security cooperation. People who once lived in Africa and now live in the U.S. came to role play and help teach about African culture.
"It's really about building partnerships and relationships," explained Lt. Col. William Stophel, Combat Logistics Battalion II Commander. "They're from there. They have a cultural understanding of their home. They actually all come from the Raleigh-Durham area, or Atlanta, Georgia, and are part of a contract to come here and help train Marines."
The SP-MAGTF Africa was formed in October 2011.