Re: To V or Ving
I agree that either can be correct. "Protecting" is what they are doing. "To protect" is their purpose. And I agree that the team is doing it all the time.
I have a bunch of cats sleeping on either side of me. It's what they are doing.
I have a bunch of cats to keep me company. It's their purpose. (Okay, I know. I exist to see to their needs, not the other way around, but we'll pretend.)
Another example of a bad question.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.