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FASTCENT Platoon Returns to Bahrain

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U.S. Marines assigned to Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Company, Central Command (FASTCENT), Charlie 5 Platoon, returned to Bahrain, after a 111-day deployment to Sana'a, Yemen, Jan. 1.

Charlie 5 deployed to Sana'a Sept. 13, 2012, to provide continuous security for the U.S. Embassy immediately following the attempted breach of the embassy walls by protesters during a period of heightened tensions in the region.

Charlie 5 was greeted by Vice Adm. John Miller, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, who congratulated the Marines on a successful mission.

"I cannot explain to you how reassuring it is for someone who is in an embassy, that needs help, to hear that there are Marines ready to go," said Miller.

"We put you in a situation where your professionalism had to be absolutely exceptional in order for us to be successful," said Miller. "I want to personally thank you and congratulate you on a job done extremely well."

The rapid deployment and overall mission success of Charlie Five is another example of how successful forward operating Marines have been in this region of the world.

"The reinforcement of the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a by FASTCENT epitomizes the reason Marines are forward in the CENTCOM AOR (Area of Responsibility). This platoon had been standing alert when the call came from the Embassy and they executed their rapid deployment with exacting precision and were the first U.S. forces on scene to quell the unrest. I am extremely proud of these young men," said Col. Brett Bourne, Fleet Marine officer and director for Plans and Strategy U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet.

Charlie 5 not only augmented the existing U.S. Marine security force responsible for the protection of U.S. Embassy personnel and facilities, they also organized and executed close quarter battle training for approximately 50 local national embassy security guards and conducted advanced urban combat classes for the 1st Law Enforcement Platoon, responsible for the security of U.S. Embassy employees and their families.

"The local foreign military was very willing to work and train with us," said Lance Cpl. William Wiedeman Jr., a squad leader in the platoon. "It was very rewarding to see the proficiency they gained during the time we spent with them."

"Being a part of this mission was very important to me," said Cpl. Stewart Blackwell another squad leader in the platoon. "In the future, if the U.S. needs to do something in Yemen we have aided in keeping good relationships there."

Charlie 5 was relieved in-place by Charlie Six, another platoon within FASTCENT.

FASTCENT's mission is to provide limited duration expeditionary anti-terrorism and security forces in support of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command to protect vital naval and national assets.

Article by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Blake Midnight, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs