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Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team look over the Persian Gulf before fast-roping out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team look over the Persian Gulf before fast-roping out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team look over the Persian Gulf before fast-roping out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team look over the Persian Gulf before fast-roping out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fast-rope out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fast-rope out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team grabs the rope as he prepares to fast-rope out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team grabs the rope as he prepares to fast-rope out an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, pick up 9 mm rounds after a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, pick up 9 mm rounds after a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Naval air crewman 3rd Class Robert Marsh, aboard an MH-60 Seahawk, sits in the gunners position during fast-rope training for the Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Naval air crewman 3rd Class Robert Marsh, aboard an MH-60 Seahawk, sits in the gunners position during fast-rope training for the Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fire the 9 mm gun during a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fire the 9 mm gun during a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

From left, Sgt. Diego Maltes, Lt. Cpl. Connor Runser and Cpl. Jake Allen, Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team ride in an MH-60 Seahawk before fast-roping during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.

From left, Sgt. Diego Maltes, Lt. Cpl. Connor Runser and Cpl. Jake Allen, Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team ride in an MH-60 Seahawk before fast-roping during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team load onto an MH-60 Seahawk during fast-rope training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team load onto an MH-60 Seahawk during fast-rope training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, fire the .50 caliber gun during a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, fire the .50 caliber gun during a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fire the .50 caliber gun during a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fire the .50 caliber gun during a live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fires at a target while moving forward during a 9 mm live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fires at a target while moving forward during a 9 mm live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon,  of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team picks up ammunition during a 9 mm live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets.

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team picks up ammunition during a 9 mm live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team loads his magazine during a 9 mm live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team loads his magazine during a 9 mm live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team carries a box of ammunition before to a .50 caliber live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015.

A Marine with Company C, 3rd Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team carries a box of ammunition before to a .50 caliber live-fire exercise aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 17, 2015. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Sgt. Joseph Doberick, left, a Marine with Company C, 4th Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team helps fellow FAST team member Lt. Cpl. Nicholas Smith during a machine gun shoot in Bahrain, Aug. 26, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets.

Sgt. Joseph Doberick, left, a Marine with Company C, 4th Platoon, of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team helps fellow FAST team member Lt. Cpl. Nicholas Smith during a machine gun shoot in Bahrain, Aug. 26, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Cpl. Rodrick Huntington, a Marine with company C platoon three of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fast-ropes out of an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets.

Cpl. Rodrick Huntington, a Marine with company C platoon three of the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team fast-ropes out of an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C , 3rd Platoon, the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, known as FAST, prepare to fast-rope out of an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C , 3rd Platoon, the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, known as FAST, prepare to fast-rope out of an MH-60 Seahawk during training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C , 3rd Platoon, the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, better known as FAST, load onto an MH-60 Seahawk during fast-rope training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C , 3rd Platoon, the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, better known as FAST, load onto an MH-60 Seahawk during fast-rope training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

Marines with Company C , 3rd Platoon, the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, better known as FAST, load onto an MH-60 Seahawk during fast-rope training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015.  FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration.

Marines with Company C , 3rd Platoon, the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, better known as FAST, load onto an MH-60 Seahawk during fast-rope training aboard the afloat forward staging base USS Ponce, Sept. 18, 2015. FAST trains to provide quick-reaction reinforcement of security at U.S. naval and national assets, including U.S. embassies, for a limited duration. (Chris Church/Stars and Stripes)

For more than 65 years, U.S. Marines have been guarding U.S. embassies throughout the world.

Most of the time, those small detachments are enough to protect the U.S. diplomatic corps, even in the most unstable of countries.

Occasionally, they need help to keep compounds secure.

At those times, the Marine Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Teams, known as FAST, spring into action: The teams are designed to prevent or react to an overrun of U.S. government assets and protect employees and property.

After the 2012 Benghazi consulate attack, for instance, a FAST unit was sent to guard the U.S. embassy in Libya.

In the past five years, FAST members have also provided reinforcement for embassies in Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Iraq, according to Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Central Command.

The unit has three companies that regularly deploy to Europe, the Middle East, and Pacific regions. Currently, two platoons of FAST’s Company C are deployed to Bahrain.

However, reinforcing embassies is only one facet to the unit’s mission. FAST is also capable of providing increased security support for bases, ships and other State and Defense department facilities. Wherever an attack or a threat occurs against a national or naval asset, FAST can respond, said Maj. Conlon D. Carabine, FASCENT's commander.

To be ready to react at a moment’s notice, FAST Marines train ... a lot.church.chris@stripes.com


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