A U.S. Marine with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa emplaces a machine gun on the roof of a notional American Embassy during a training exercise in the urban training facility in Baumholder, Germany, July 6, 2015. More than 78 Marines and sailors conducted the full-mission rehearsal, which demonstrated the unit’s ability to rapidly deploy and conduct embassy reinforcement. (Photo from marines.mil)
U.S. Marines and sailors with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa (SPMAGTF) from Sigonella, Italy, conducted a training exercise at an Army training facility in Baumholder, Germany serving as a simulated American Embassy on July 6-9, 2015.
According to marines.mil, the full-mission rehearsal demonstrated the unit’s ability to deploy to conduct embassy reinforcement and validate the communications capability of the platoon. More than 78 members of the SPMAGTF patrolled the urban training facility, and set up communication and defenses to protect the notional American personnel and assets.
“This is the type of mission is what we’ve been training to since before we deployed to Sigonella,” said Staff Sgt. Edward Erdmann, the platoon sergeant. “The training was a good test for the Marines because they didn’t know what to expect, and the unexpected is what we need to train to.” A team of Army Green Berets provided the opposing force for the Marines securing the embassy.
The photo was released by the State Department with the following caption: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on June 9, 2015, with National Security Adviser Susan Rice from his room at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is recovering from surgery to repair a broken right femur he suffered during a biking accident in France. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
Who’s missing from the picture? Tom Sullivan. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff on April 20, 2015 but his bio was not up at state.gov when we blogged about these appointments in May. The official bio is now up:
Tom Sullivan serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy at the U.S. Department of State. Most recently, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs.
Prior to joining the Department of State in August 2012, he worked for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar from 2007-2012, serving as her Deputy Chief of Staff.
He previously worked at the Council on Foreign Relations as a Research Associate to President Emeritus Leslie Gelb from 2003-2005.
A native of Minneapolis, MN, Tom holds a M.A. in International Affairs from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Yale University.
Secretary Kerry Holds 8-Month-Old on Shoulders After Addressing U.S. Military and Diplomatic Personnel at Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds 8-month-old Andrew Belz on his shoulders as he poses with the children of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel following a speech to them at the Yongsan Army Garrison amid a visit to Seoul, Republic of Korea, on May 18, 2015. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]
Secretary Kerry is traveling to Sri Lanka, Kenya and Djibouti from May 1-5, 2015. He was in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 2, his first trip to the country. Secretary Kerry’s second stop was Nairobi, Kenya on May 3, according to the State Department “to reinforce the importance of our strong bilateral relationship.” He will reportedly discuss a range of issues including security cooperation — particularly in light of the recent tragic attack at Garissa University College – refugee assistance, trade, and biodiversity. On May 5, Secretary will travel to Djibouti, Djibouti. He will meet high-level leaders to discuss our bilateral cooperation and their support to evacuation efforts from Yemen. He will also visit with U.S. military personnel at Camp Lemonnier. This is the first time that a sitting Secretary of State will visit Djibouti.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Secretary Kerry Walks With Monk In Processional to Kelaniya Temple in Colombo U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with a monk in a processional to the Kelaniya Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka on May 2, 2015. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]
Secretary Kerry Salutes Longtime Embassy Sri Lanka Worker During Employee Meet-and-Greet in Colombo U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry salutes a longtime Embassy employee who has worked on behalf of the United States for over 30 years as he addressed employees and family members from U.S. Embassy Sri Lanka on May 3, 2015, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]
Secretary Kerry Poses for a Photo with a Baby Elephant at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses for a photo with a baby elephant at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 3, 2015, following a wildlife tour of the Park and before a series of government meetings. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]
Secretary Kerry Feeds a Baby Elephant at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry feeds a baby elephant at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 3, 2015, following a wildlife tour of the Park and before a series of government meetings. [State Department Photo/Public Domain]
Photos from the trip are available here. We will add photos from the Djibouti stop when they become available.A couple of pics from Djibouti:
Via US Embassy Tbilisi from Ambassador Richard Norland:
“Georgia is an amazing combination of rich cultural and religious traditions. Mary and I were in Batumi over the weekend, attending the Georgian Muslim Union’s International Forum on Religion and Peace. On our way home, we drove through Chiatura — a hardy mining community finding its way forward by drawing on a combination of Soviet-era infrastructure and modern investment including from the U.S. firm Georgian-American Alloys.
En route, we happened upon the 1000-year old church at Qatskhi, and the amazing chapel-on-a-rock nearby, where Father Maksim carries on a centuries-old tradition of residing alone atop the huge stone promontory. With Father Maksim’s blessing, my security guard and I scaled the iron ladder planted into the side of the rock. Wet with rain, steep and narrow, it was an unforgettable trip up — and down! At the top, the solitude of the small ancient chapel and the monk’s simple quarters was inspiring.”
Ambassador A. Frankie Reed had her farewell ceremony at the Embassy. From everyone here at the Embassy we wish her all the best and a “Va nuinui vinaka e na nomu lesu tale i America” (photo from US Embassy Suva/FB) January 2015
Ambassador Cefkin posses with warriors at the welcome ceremony — at US Embassy Suva. (Photo by US Embassy Suva/FB) February 2015
The American ambassador to Fiji is also accredited to Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The Embassy’s Consular Section offers a full range of American citizen and visa services for Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu, and the French territories in the South Pacific: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna.
The embassy says it is reaching out to the Governments of Kiribati and Tuvalu to better understand the countries’ emergency needs in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam. It issued a disaster declaration for Tuvalu and is reportedly working with relief agencies to address the immediate needs of those affected by the storm.
The Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources Ambassador Arnold Chacon oversees the Bureau of Human Resources (M/DGHR). The Bureau handles recruitment, assignment evaluation, promotion, discipline, career development, and retirement policies and programs for the Department’s Foreign and Civil Service employees.
DGHR Chacon was sworn-in by Secretary Kerry as the new Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (DGHR), at the Department of State on January 8, 2014. Excerpt below, see the full remarks here:
The Department’s diversity, like our country’s, makes us stronger, not weaker. I will be the director general for all of the State Department family – Civil Service, Foreign Service, locally employed staff, family members, contractors, interns, detailees, and yes, Mr. Secretary, even Ben the diplo-pup. (Laughter.)
I will also ensure that our family reflects America in all its magnificent variety and represents every corner and every face of our great nation. Our mission is to recruit, retain, and sustain exemplary employees who advance our values, interests, and goals. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the essential thing to do if we’re going to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century and make the most of new opportunities.
I’m also pleased and humbled by the presence today of so many friends and colleagues who share my desire to make a difference in people’s lives. I think of myself as a protege of a unique generation of accomplished and trailblazing diplomats – in particular, Ambassadors Cresencio Arcos, John Negroponte, Alan Solomont, Kristie Kenney, Harry Thomas, Ruth Davis, Skip Gnehm, Ambassador Perkins, and Sally Cowal. It has been my good fortune to have been mentored by such exceptional individuals who gave me career-enhancing opportunities and helped me become the best that I could be.