In early October, the Marine Corps made an announcement regarding the involvement of sailors and marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in training drills set to occur in Kuwait. Initially scheduled to run from October 8 to October 22, there has been a shift in the plans.
As of October 11, Captain Angelica White, who serves as a spokesperson for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conveyed to the Marine Corps Times that the unit has departed from Kuwait. She mentioned that the service members were instructed to ready themselves for fresh directives due to developing circumstances. Subsequently, the unit was relocated to the vicinity of Bahrain, a nation situated along the Persian Gulf’s coast.
White did not disclose the destination of the unit’s next move and refrained from discussing the conflict between Israel and Hamas. She clarified that the unit is assuming a state of readiness as a proactive measure, in case their services are required.
This unit functions as a rapid-response force, fully equipped to undertake any mission that becomes imperative. Historically, Marine Expeditionary Units have played pivotal roles in operations such as evacuations in Afghanistan, response to an earthquake in Turkey, and the evacuation of American citizens in Sudan.
The unit’s expertise in evacuation operations is of significance, particularly as the U.S. government initiated the evacuation of American citizens from Israel on October 13. The White House announced that U.S. citizens desiring to depart could avail themselves of charter flights facilitating their exit from the Middle Eastern nation.
This comes in the wake of Hamas militants launching an assault on Israel on October 7, just a day prior to the commencement of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s training exercises. Tragically, these acts of terrorism resulted in the loss of more than two dozen American lives.
Additional U.S. citizens were abducted and transported across the border into Gaza. President Joe Biden has articulated his administration’s focus on repatriating these Americans. However, it remains uncertain whether the President intends to deploy Special Forces to the region for their rescue.