Protecting Domestic Facilities
In the United States, DS manages the protection of more than 100 State Department facilities. Protecting our domestic facilities involves security specialists, engineers, and technicians who survey, design, develop, install, and update technical equipment. Our domestic security system includes networks to transmit data, video, and voice back to the Security Control Center, which serves as the command center for all domestic security programs.
Security specialists oversee the daily operations of uniformed officers who monitor access to State Department facilities by screening visitors and packages, patrolling facilities, and monitoring security systems. These uniformed officers also support special events and conferences that frequently occur in our domestic facilities.
As part of its facility screening process, Diplomatic Security employs explosive ordinance technicians, commonly known as bomb-sniffing dogs. Each dog is paired with a security officer trained as a dog handler. The teams routinely patrol State Department buildings and check vehicles at loading docks. Teams often supplement the protection foreign dignitaries receive by working hotels and other sites. The teams train many hours a month, enabling them to meet quarterly certification standards.
Protecting U.S. Missions Abroad
Overseas, the Department's security network is anchored by regional security officers (RSOs). RSOs are assigned to nearly every U.S. diplomatic mission abroad to protect our overseas missions from physical and electronic attack.
Local guards protect the perimeters of our overseas missions, office facilities, residences, and construction sites. DS manages more than 15,600 local guards, nearly half of whom are devoted to protecting residences. Usually nationals of the host country, local guards are under the direct supervision of the RSO who coordinates protection with host government officials.
Marine Security Guards (MSGs) control access to the interior of our missions by monitoring surveillance devices, fire alarms, and communications systems that cover the entire embassy. In times of crisis, MSGs aid in safeguarding the lives of diplomatic personnel and assist in evacuating embassy personnel and other Americans living in the country.