If you scroll through the list of categories on the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see that since launching this blog in early 2010, we have written hundreds of posts about a variety of subjects relevant to the Corps and the lives of Marines.
… Yes, even the popular web comic Terminal Lance.
Missing from the list, until now, was a category dedicated to one of the Corps’ most iconic and enduring missions: embassy security. An oversight? Most definitely. And there’s no time like the present to make amends.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the identity of the Marine in this photo, which was captured moments after Friday’s suicide-bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Two peopled died in the explosion, including the bomber, but all Marine security guards were reported safe and accounted for, a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters told me this morning.
As you can see from what appears to be some red PT gear sticking out beneath this well-armed Marine’s body armor, the afternoon attack came without warning. Such is the nature of terrorism, of course. For me, seeing him alone on the roof of this compound underscores how dangerous — and important — this job can be. Embassies are like islands, if you think about it, and some are located in some scary (if strategically important) parts of the world.
Since last year’s deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, we’ve reported extensively on Congress’ desire to grow the Embassy Security Group by another 1,000 Marines. This, coupled with the commandant’s plan to create a new, permanently deployed air-ground task force focused on crisis response, leaves me no doubt that images like this one will become more commonplace in the months and years to come.