We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

lightning reaction

Here's how US Marines evacuate an embassy in a hostile country

Ever wondered how the Marine Corps mobilises so quickly, and how missions are carried out?

THE US EMBASSY in Tripoli, Libya, was evacuated last month in response to intense insurgent fighting, according to the State Department.

A Marine quick reaction force led the evacuation with assistance from two USMC MV-22 Ospreys, three Air Force F-16 fighter jets, and an undisclosed number of surveillance drones, according to the Military Times.

In situations like these, the US Marine Corps is trusted to quickly respond to hostile situations, and countless hours of training have made it more than capable. In response to crises, Marines are expected to be able to execute these types of missions within six hours.

78 evacuees were transported to nearby Tunisia by a group of 80 Marines, according to the Military Times. All in all, the evacuation took five hours.

The Pentagon released some photos of the Marine crisis reaction force out of Sigonella, Italy, which was tasked with evacuating the embassy in Tripoli.

We paired these with other photos from a training video to show you how these operations are supposed to go down…

This MV-22 Osprey prepares to take off in support of the Tripoli embassy evacuation. Ospreys function as both a transport plane and a tilt-rotor aircraft. This provides the Marine Corps with the capability to tactically insert Marines into multiple environments while covering more distance than traditional helicopters.

Image: US Marine Corps photo via 1st Lt. Maida Kalic

Marines board the aircraft with their gear and weapons in anticipation of the operation. The wide cargo area allows the Osprey to transport a large amount of gear as well as Marines. 

Image: U.S. Marine Corps photo via 1st Lt. Maida Kalic

The green lights allow others to see the rotors of the Osprey during takeoff and landing and are an essential part of operating during nighttime conditions.

Image: US Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Maida Kalic

Once inside, Marines cram in and sit prepared in anticipation of the embassy evacuation.

Image: U.S. Marine Corps photo via 1st Lt. Maida Kalic

The Marines fly in using the long transport capabilities of the Osprey.

Image: Department of Defense via YouTube 

At the embassy, Marines fast-rope out of the Osprey onto the roof to quickly provide defensive support and to locate and evacuate embassy personnel. Meanwhile, the Marine security guards stationed in the embassy protect the ambassador and secure or destroy classified materials.

Marines use smoke to conceal their movement and make sure to remove and secure the American flag immediately. 

Image: Department of Defense via YouTube

Once the Marines have located the embassy personnel, they quickly leave. A well-executed mission means providing security and getting in and out as quickly as possible.

Here you can watch the Marines explain how they conduct an embassy evacuation and their role as America’s emergency response force:

Published with permission from
Business Insider
Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.