Mobile Security Deployments (MSD) maintains crisis response units and support personnel, on an emergency recall status of 12 and 24 hours, to deploy domestically and abroad to defend U.S. embassies and staff in critical situations. They augment the U.S. Secretary of State’s protective security detail during trips to dangerous locations overseas and work with security personnel at U.S. embassies and consulates to identify, mitigate and respond to security threats. MSD accomplishes this by holding operational members to the highest readiness standard of all Diplomatic Security
Service (DSS) special agents in the areas of physical fitness, inter-personal skills, and hard-skills training.
MSD consists of special agents, operational coordinators and support elements. They enable flexible responses with advanced communications, operational planning, intelligence analysis, logistics and training. Spending half of their time on deployment, they ensure DSS offers a quick response when danger threatens diplomacy anywhere in the world.
Training the Best
MSD members undergo a six-month rigorous assessment and selection training experience known as the “Green Team.” Green Team training prepares special agents for small-unit operations in high-threat environments with little or no outside support, domestically and overseas.
The curriculum includes advanced tactical firearms training; defensive tactics; counter-terrorist driving skills; dynamic room entry; land navigation; helicopter operations; first-responder medical training; high-risk survival training; and familiarization with explosives countermeasures and chemical and biological agents.
Once integrated into deployable MSD teams, these special agents are ready to travel throughout the United States and the globe, safeguarding U.S. diplomatic efforts. They serve on security support teams or tactical support teams and serve as contingency planners.
Security support teams augment an embassy or consulate’s existing security infrastructure during times of heightened threats, terrorist attacks, political unrest, crises or natural disasters. DSS special agents and support members undergo advanced training and have experience in critical-threat environments.
Security support teams survey the safest routes for diplomatic travel and provide high-threat protective services during those trips. They also provide compound security and help the regional security office by tactically coordinating with the local guard force and the ambassador’s bodyguard detail.
It is critical for U.S. officials to be on the ground during times of crisis, and these teams enable those officials to remain engaged. If the environment becomes too unstable, embassies and consulates may have to suspend operations. Following a halt in operations, security support teams help the State Department reestablish an official U.S. presence long before a normal diplomatic mission would be possible.
U.S. diplomacy often calls for the Secretary of State and other officials to visit nations that are at war, experiencing civil unrest or harboring hostility toward the United States.
For these high-threat diplomatic missions, MSD augments the Secretary of State’s DSS protective security detail by providing counter-assault capabilities.
Counter assault, or tactical support teams, are also necessary when foreign diplomats visiting the United States require the highest level of protection. For the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the department has assigned tactical support teams to protect the Palestinian president, the Iranian foreign minister and the Israeli defense minister.
For these high-threat diplomatic missions, an MSD tactical support team augments the Secretary of State’s DSS protective security detail by providing counter-assault capabilities.
In recent years, tactical support teams have protected the Secretary of State in Pakistan, the Philippines, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, India, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Jamaica, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Indonesia.
Tactical support teams are also necessary when foreign diplomats visiting the United States require the highest level of protection. For the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Department of State has assigned tactical support teams to protect the Palestinian president, the Iranian foreign minister, and the Israeli defense minister.
Crises in countries of concern can happen suddenly; however, the security environment in some countries erode over time. This rapidly changing environment can stress an embassy or consulate’s capacity as it relates to preparing for an imminent crisis. MSD works with U.S. embassies and consulates where there is reasonable expectation of a crisis to plan and prepare for an unstable and fluid security environment.
MSD teams help embassies deal with these fluid security environments by providing a spectrum of capabilities that include threat mitigation strategies and vulnerability assessments. The State Department also calls upon MSD to assist in the collection and verification of information deemed strategic or of operational importance to the department.
To find out more about Mobile Security Deployments download the Factsheet below: