2nd FAST Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Commanders Marine Challenge Coin
Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team
Marine Challenge Coin
Condition : Used and in good condition. Please see pictures.
This coin is 2 inches in diameter.
The Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) Companies are capable of rapidly deploying to immediately improve security at United States Government installations worldwide.
Established in 1987, FAST companies provide a limited-duration, expeditionary security force to protect vital naval and national assets. FAST maintains forward-deployed platoons at various naval commands around the globe, and possesses U.S.-based alert forces capable of rapidly responding to unforeseen contingencies worldwide. Each FAST company is equipped and trains with some of the most state-of-the-art weaponry and currently consists of around 500 Marines.
FAST companies maintain a high degree of readiness in order to conduct these short-notice, limited-duration contingency operations. The USMC's FAST companies provide both the US Navy and Marine Corps with a dedicated force protection and anti-terrorist unit. The late 70's and early 80's were a high water mark for US military counter/anti-terrorist efforts. A series of deadly attacks directed at Americans highlighted the requirement for security forces capable of countering terrorist threats against military units. The President issued a directive ordering US security agencies and all branches of the military to enhance their capabilities in this field. In compliance with this directive, the USMC conducted a thorough evaluation of its security forces during the mid-eighties. Upon the studies completion, the Corps came to the conclusion that its current security procedures were inadequate to handle the security threats being posed against it. The Corps decided to form a new unit of highly trained Marines dedicated to defending both US Navy and Marine Corps assets from terrorist attack. The new unit was designated as the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, or FAST. Established in 1987, FAST Companies are equipped to perform security missions as directed by the Chief of Naval Operations. FAST Company Marines augment installation security when a threat condition is elevated beyond the ability of resident and auxiliary security forces. They are not designed to provide a permanent security force for the installation. The Marine Corps uses FAST Companies to protect forces when a threat level requires it. Each company is well grounded in basic infantry skills. FAST Companies are primarily designed to conduct defensive combat operations, military security operations, and rear area security operations. They also can be tailored for specific tasks from the Chief of Naval Operations. They also ensure nuclear material on submarines is not compromised when the vessels are docked.
Since their inception, FAST Company Marines have seen a heavy operations tempo, being deployed to participate in numerous training, security, and combat operations. In 1989 elements of 1st FAST were deployed to Rodman Naval Station, Panama as a response to a number of incursions by unknown intruders (the intruders were believed to be members of a Cuban special operations unit who were attempting to sabotage US POL stockpiles located on the base ). 1 FAST immediately commenced operations, conducting security patrols around the base perimeter, and establishing ambush positions along known avenues of approach. The FAST marines were successful in deterring further incursions, and on a number of occasions they took intruders, attempting to gain entry to the base, under fire. On December 21, 1989 the US launched Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama. US forces were to secure the country and remove Panamanian military strongman, and the country's de facto leader, from power. Although primarily a US Army, and special operation forces mission, a select number of USMC units were to participate. One of the USMC units selected for the operation was 1st FAST Co.
1st FAST had been operating in Panama for some time providing security at US naval installations; conducting training exercises; and gearing up for any possible terrorist attack directed at USMC or USN facilities in Panama. 1st FAST along with a detachment form the 2nd Light Armored Infantry (LAI) Battalion, another new USMC unit, were to conduct several joint combat missions together. The 2nd LAI det. provided speed, armored protection, and heavy firepower, while 1 FAST provided CQB skills necessary for operating in the tight confines of an urban environment.
During Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, FAST Marines provided additional security to US naval installations in Bahrain.
In January 1991, The US Navy and Marines conducted Operation Sharp Edge, the noncombatant evacuation operation of US and foreign nationals from Liberia. FAST was deployed to relieve the Marine Amphibious Readiness Group that was providing security at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia.
Shortly after the conclusion of Vigilant Warrior, USCENTCOM found itself involved once again in Somalia, this time to cover the withdrawal of UNOSOM II in accordance with a United Nations decision to pull its forces out of that war ravaged country. After the withdrawal of US forces on 25 March 1994, the United States maintained a liaison office in Mogadishu in an attempt to further the process of political reconciliation in Somalia. Security for this office was provided by a Fleet Anti terrorist Security Team (FAST) platoon. As conditions in Mogadishu deteriorated, the liaison office relocated to Nairobi and the FAST platoon redeployed to Mombasa, Kenya, on 15 September 1994, with FAST redeploying to home station three days later.
FAST Platoons also provided security support for the transfer of Cuban migrants from Panama holding areas to Guantanamo Bay during Operation Safe Passage from January to February 1995. Following the 1996 bombing of a UASF barracks in Saudi Arabia, FAST Marines responded. Elements of FAST Company arrived on the scene and secured several buildings within 10 hours.
During Operation Fairwinds in late 1996, FAST Platoons provided security for Navy Seabees and USAF Civil Engineers, work sites, camp sites, and convoys in Haiti.
There are currently three FAST companies in the US and a training company. Companies A and C are located on Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia, and Company B, which is located at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Yorktown, Virginia. These companies operate under the control of the Marine Corps Security Force Regiment located on Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, The Security Force Regiment Training Company is located on Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Northwest Annex (NSA Northwest), in Chesapeake, Virginia. Each company includes almost 400 Marines, task-organized based upon mission.
All Marines assigned to FAST must have completed the following training:
During their many training exercises, FAST makes extensive use of simulated ammunition or UTM. Si-munition and UTMs are like paintball ammunition, but it can be fired from weapons normally used by the unit instead of plastic guns. The USMC has seen fit to equip its FAST units with a wide array of weapons, and equipment to help them accomplish their mission. The FAST units arsenal is known to include M4A1 rifles, M4A1/M-203 40mm grenade launchers, Modified M-14 rifles with specialized stocks to make them Designated Marksmen Rifles (DMR which has a composite stock and fixed magnification scope) or Enhanced Marksmen Rifle (EMR which has a SAGE stock with a specialized scope known as the Scout Sniper Day Scope or SSDS), Beretta M9A1 9mm pistols, Remington 870 shotguns, Benelli M1014 semi automatic shotgun, M-249 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs), M-240B 7.62mm MMGs, Browning .50 Cal. HMGs, MK-19 40mm HMGs (automatic grenade launchers). All these weapons can at any time be outfitted with the most advanced optics known today like ACOG, EoTech, AimPoint, various PEQ laser systems and night vision scopes. Almost all of FAST Company mission are unknown except from the members of that platoon, Charlie FAST Company stationed out of NAS Bahrain was sent to secure the embassy in Sanna Yemen in July 2011 just one year prior to the FAST's most recent mission that was known around the world and caught media attention was on 12 September 2012; a FAST team 1 was sent to Libya in response to the 2012 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi. The FAST Marines were from Europe Rota, Spain.;