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    US Diplomats, Staff Endanger Embassy Security by Skipping Crisis Training

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    The US Department of State has failed to hold its embassy and consulate staffs accountable for skipping emergency preparedness training, resulting in personnel who are ill-prepared to handle life-threatening crises, the General Accounting Office (GAO) said in a report on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In addition, the GAO found that staff at diplomatic compounds in locations at heightened risk of political violence or terrorism completed just 44 percent of required emergency preparedness drills.

    "Overall, less than 4 percent of [embassy and consulate] posts reported completing all required drills during fiscal years 2013-2016," the report stated.

    During fiscal years 2013-2016, the State Department evacuated staff and their families from 23 overseas posts in response to threats, such as terrorism, civil unrest and natural disasters, the report explained.

    Embassy and consulate personnel are required to conduct emergency preparedness drills and send after-action assessments to State Department headquarters in Washington, DC, the report noted.

    In spite of that mandate, not one report was submitted for fiscal years 2013–2016, according to the report.

    The deficiencies in crisis and evacuation training raises the risk that staff are unprepared to cope with life-threatening situations, the report concluded.

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