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Special Operations: State Department Commandos
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September 6, 2007: Even the U.S. State Department has its own commando force. For nearly a century, the State Department has had a security force, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (BDS). But over a hundred of the 1,400 BDS personnel belong to a more specialized organization, the Mobile Security Deployment (MSD). Members of MSD are trained to deal with kidnapping or terrorist threats at embassies. Most members are former military, and receive an additional six months training at a special State Department facility in Virginia. The skills they acquire are special operations type things, including how to drive a car in a combat situation. The MSD agents are mainly used to analyze dangerous situations, come up with a security plan, and carry out direct action (commando type stuff) if needed. Mainly, the MSD is a defensive organization, trained and equipped to protect diplomatic personnel under the most trying circumstances. That involves knowing how to evacuate an embassy under attack, usually with the help of U.S. Marines or SOCOM operatives.



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Horsesoldier       9/21/2007 1:13:53 PM
I'd question the claim that the State Department has "commandos."  They have some security specialists with varying degrees of competence in the field (usually the more politically savvy they are, the less job competent . . .).  But for real hot zones, the State Department is pretty much entirely dependent on Blackwater, DynCorp, and other contract companies for PSD and augmenting their security above and beyond what embassy USMC detachments can provide.
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SCCOMarine       9/26/2007 5:29:27 PM

Like Horse said the State Department Personnel are security specialists not Commandos.


By State Department protocol USMC Sec. Dets.(MSGs) are assigned the Mission of Securing Classified Information not Security of the Embassy Staff.  The Diplomatic Security Service teams conduct the Security for the Embassy Staff.  


US law restricts the MSG from using force beyond the Compound except for In-Extremis Situations.


When the situation is beyond the ability of the MSG or DSS, the State Department calls on Marine Corps’ FAST Platoons.  FAST Plts are often augmented and relieved by Mobile Security Deployment’s “Mobile Tactical Support Teams” which have similar capabilities & mission sets as FAST.

The only place that I know of the State Department uses Private Sec. like BW and Dyna for PSD is in Baghdad, and that’s b/c of the sheer # of personnel assigned to the Green Zone.

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