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US Marine Unit with Special Operations Capabilities on the Move in Middle East Due to ‘Emerging Events’

Marines with the 26th Expeditionary Unit employ the Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System during Red Sands 23.2, a counter-unmanned aerial system live fire exercise conducted by the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Central at Shamal-2 Range in northeastern Saudi Arabia on Sept. 10.
Staff Sgt. Latasha Price / U.S. Army

The following article, US Marine Unit with Special Operations Capabilities on the Move in Middle East Due to 'Emerging Events', was first published on Flag And Cross.

A Marine Corps unit that can undertake special operations has cut short its scheduled training exercise with Kuwait, the Marine Corps Times reported Wednesday.

After Hamas attacked civilians in Israel on Saturday — killing at least 1,300 people, including 25 Americans — the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit was moved, and its roughly 2,000 troops “are no longer in vicinity of Kuwait,” Capt. Angelica White, a Marine Corps spokeswoman, told the Times on Wednesday.

Troops were ordered out of Kuwait “to prepare for further tasking as a result of emerging events,” White said, adding that the unit is now in the vicinity of Bahrain.

Without providing specifics, she said the unit “is posturing our force in effort to be prepared” so that “in the case that we are tasked or directed, we are able to respond promptly.”

“As a crisis response force, we stand ready,” White said.

The unit has training in recovering aircraft and people, raids, stealthy insertion and extraction of special patrols, maritime interdiction and noncombatant evacuations, according to the Military Times.

As Israel pounds Gaza amid continued rocket fire from Hamas into southern Israel and from Hezbollah into northern Israel, the United States has concerns beyond the immediate conflict, according to Politico.

U.S. officials are worried that the war could lead to attacks on U.S. forces based in the Middle East, the outlet reported. America officially has about 900 troops based in Syria and another 2,500 in Iraq.

Middle East-based troops are “aware of malign actors who may seek to capitalize on conflicts and instability in the region,” said Maj. Geoffrey Carmichael, a spokesman for U.S. forces.

“We will not let nefarious actors pull us into engagements that detract from our mission,” Carmichael said. “Make no mistake, we reserve our inherent right to self-defense whenever faced with threats that place our forces in harm’s way.”

This week, the USS Gerald Ford Carrier Strike Group arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to a Navy news release. The carrier is accompanied by the destroyers USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney and USS Roosevelt.

Air Force F-15s, F-16s and A-10s are also being flown into the region should they be needed, the release said.

“The arrival of these highly capable forces to the region is a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to take advantage of this situation,” Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.

On Friday, the Eisenhower carrier strike group will leave Norfolk, Virginia, according to Navy Times. Its official destination is Europe.

The carrier strike group includes the destroyers USS Gravely and USS Mason and the cruiser USS Philippine Sea.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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