US Embassy Ulaanbaatar Gets First Ever Marine Security Guard Detachment

— Domani Spero
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Via US Embassy Mongolia:

On May 23, 2014,  U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar held a welcome ceremony to institute the first ever U.S. Marine Security Guard detachment in the Embassy. Ambassador Piper Campbell expressed her delight at having Marines serving at the Embassy Ulaanbaatar.  The Ambassador concluded her speech with a quote from 1885, “The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand.”

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Adam Zybert thanked the Embassy for the work in preparing for the Marines’ arrival.  He quoted Ronald Reagan “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem”, and continued “If President Reagan were still here today, I believe he would say the U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar does not have that problem either”.

As part of the ceremony, the Marine Security Guards presented the colors for the raising of the flag in the Embassy compound.

U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar held a welcome ceremony to institute the first ever U.S. Marine Security Guard detachment in the Embassy.

Ambassador Piper Campbell during U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar’s welcome ceremony to institute the first ever U.S. Marine Security Guard detachment in the Embassy.


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Officially In: Piper Campbell — from Iraq to Mongolia

On March 2, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Piper Campbell as the next Ambassador to Mongolia. The WH released the following brief bio:

Piper A. W. Campbell is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and has served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah, Iraq since July 2011.  Prior to her time in Iraq, Ms. Campbell was Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.  From 2006 to 2009, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S Embassy in Cambodia.  Other overseas posts have included Counselor for Humanitarian Affairs for the U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland; Advisor to the USAID Mission Director in Croatia; Senior Advisor to the Head of Civilian Affairs for the United Nations Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia, Croatia; General Services Officer in Belgium; and General Services Officer and Consular Officer in the Philippines.  Domestically,  Ms. Campbell has served as an Advisor on Asian Issues for the U.S. Mission to the U.N.; Human Rights Officer in the Bureau of International Organizations; and a Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operations Center.

Ms. Campbell holds a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School.

Consul General Piper A. W. Campbell is congratulated by local community leaders and guests for her appointment of consul general during a ceremony held at the Basrah International Airport July 5, 2011. Photo by Spc. Brittany Gardner via

If confirmed, Ms. Campbell would succeed career diplomat, Jonathan Addleton, who was appointed chief of mission to Ulaanbaatar in 2009.  We have previously posted about Ms. Campbell here and here during the opening of the USCG in Basrah.


Related item:
March 02, 2012 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts



US Consulate General Basrah, Iraq – Opening: Videos, Reax

I have previously posted about the opening of the new Consulate General in Al Baṣrah, Iraq (see Newest US Consulate General Opens in Basrah, Iraq | Wednesday, July 6, 2011). See below a couple of videos on ConGen Basra.

The Basrah Provincial Reconstruction Team transitions to a diplomatic post as US Consulate General Basrah.  Video is produced by DOD | Spc. Lisa Soule:

DOD’s 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment reports that the new Consul General, Piper A. W. Campbell, addressed the reception’s guests:

The consulate general in Basrah is a significant step forward in the transition from the civilian-military footprint the PRT had to a more diplomatic presence, said Campbell.

“The opening of the consulate today in Basrah is a huge step forward in the military-to-civilian transition,” said Cambell, “which people in the United States, as well as in Iraq, are eagerly watching and waiting for. So as we see the U.S. military drawing down in Iraq, it is very important that there is still a sense of connection and a sense of continuity. And the establishment of the consulate is a huge part of that.”

The reception’s guests included Jeffrey D. Feltman, assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Dr. Khalef Abdul Samed, Basrah provincial governor, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, U.S. Forces-Iraq commander, Iraqi dignitaries, and other Iraqi and U.S. officials.

Video below is via Al Jazeera with Iraqi reactions:

Newest US Consulate General Opens in Basrah, Iraq

Location of BasraImage via WikipediaSaw the news yesterday about our newest American Consulate General which was opened in the southern Iraqi city of Basrah, on July 5.

Actually, I saw that news first from AKnews out of Erbil, the the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan:

Erbil, July 5 (AKnews) – The US Ambassador to Iraq Jeffry Filtman officially opened the US consulate in the oil-rich southern port city of Basra today.

Biber Kamble was officially assigned the US consul general in Basra. The consulate will also be responsible for the provinces of Mithan, Thiqar and al-Muthanna.

Jeffrey Feltman, of course, is not the US Ambassador to Iraq. I got distracted and it was hours before I finally found the official statement about the opening of ConGen Basrah:

On July 5, U.S. Ambassador James F. Jeffrey officially opened the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah, Iraq, with Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman in attendance. The U.S. has had a diplomatic presence in Basrah dating as far back as 1869. The U.S. Consulate in Basrah closed in 1967, although civilian U.S. agencies working with military colleagues in the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) have made memorable and lasting contributions to Basrah Province, including projects to provide water treatment, schools and other educational facilities, and a hospital.

During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Jeffrey invoked the commitment shared by Iraqis and Americans to freedom and democracy, as well as the authority granted to him by the President of the United States and the Secretary of State, elevating the U.S. PRT to the status of Consulate General. He also announced the pending appointment of Ms. Piper A. W. Campbell to the position of Consul General. The consular district for U.S. Consulate General Basrah will include Basrah, Muthanna, Maysan, and Dhi Qar.

Active links added above. As to the name of the new Consul General in Basrah, note that “Biber” is Turkish for pepper.

Consul General Piper A. W. Campbell cuts the cake during the official opening of the U.S. Consulate General July 5 at the Basrah International Airport in Basrah, Iraq.
Photo by Spc. Brittany Gardner

On Basrah itself, below is a brief description from US Embassy Baghdad and the prior work done in the province by the Provincial Reconstruction Team:

Southern Iraq’s Basrah province is the economic engine of the country. With a population that exceeds 1.6 million, the country’s second largest municipality is the city of Basrah. All of Iraq’s maritime ports are located in Basrah province, which is the source for half of Iraq’s gross domestic product. Bordering Kuwait, Basrah province also generates 75 percent of the government of Iraq’s revenue, and 85 percent of Iraq’s oil exports pass through Basrah.

PRT Basrah is headed by a senior State Department Foreign Service Officer who leads a team of experts in petroleum and gas, port development, essential services, rule of law, governance, agriculture, and public diplomacy, as well as representatives from USAID and the U.S. military, and a growing staff of local nationals. Oil contracts from the Government of Iraq have attracted numerous international oil and oil-service companies to Basrah Province, where seven percent of the world’s proven oil reserves are located. The Basrah PRT has positioned itself to support the increased economic activity that oil business will bring to the province.

In May this year, The Independent reported that UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office will close up to a dozen consulates in countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Also included in the restructuring is the plan to shut down UK’s consulate in Basrah:

“Perhaps the most controversial part of the plan is a preliminary decision to shut the consulate in Basra, which will bring Britain’s involvement in the southern Iraqi city to an end. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is thought to have concluded that the high cost of providing security to the consulate is disproportionate to the benefit it brings Britain – especially now it has no military presence there.”

The Independent notes that this “will fuel concerns that Britain is “abandoning” Iraq on cost grounds and will be badly placed to take advantage of the oil boom in the area.”

Well, with US Consulate General Basrah now officially open, no one can accuse the United States of doing that.