550 Marines Move to Spain to Join AFRICOM

550 Marines Move to Spain to Join AFRICOM

The Marine Corps will temporarily base 550 Marines as part of a rapid reaction force in Morón, Spain in support of U.S. Africa Command, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos told Congress Thursday.

Amos said AFRICOM leaders could later decide to station this Marine Air Ground Task Force on the African continent, but he said the force will remain temporarily at Morón. The MAGTF will be outfitted with MV-22 Ospreys and C-130 cargo aircraft.

“If something happens, you now have an asset that you can move very quickly along with the C-130 tankers and the V-22s. You can move it very quickly in the Africa continent to respond to a crisis,” Amos told Congress.


The addition of the Marine unit will help the U.S. respond to situations in Africa quicker such as the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, officials said.

Amos said the MAGTF will provide training to African forces, but have the primary responsibility of a crisis response force.

Join the Conversation

Long past time for the USMC to be let out from under Mama Navy’s apron strings…Mama Navy can fill her “empty-nest syndrome” with the Coast Guard…That makes the most sense, as Navy increasingly moves to more littoral actions, and ships, as with the two new types of LCS…yes, — the CG can keep it’s own identity. But, having 4 branches, would better allow the USMC to take it’s rightful place alongside the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Almost 240 years of greatness, so far, now it’s time to make the Devil Dogs their own branch of the Tree.…SEMPER FI MARINES…

Except the USCG cant be part of the DoD and execute its mission without a declaration of martial law.

Gee I was in USCGC Chase WHEC-718 back in 83 in the Naval Task Force for the Grenada Invasion and no one said anything about declaration of martial law when we left Rosevelt Roads PR enroute at flank speed for 24hours to be part of the theater of ops as an ASW platform and for NGFS with our 5″ mount if required. So I thing we were part of DOD for the month that we were their and we did receive the Armed Forces Expiditionary Medal for our participation!

I was referring to the fact the USCG cannot be made permanently part of the DoD and execute its law enforcement mission over American civilians.
http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​P​o​s​s​e​_​C​o​m​i​t​a​t​u​s​_​Act

Good. Though a base in Sicily would cover northern Africa quite handily.

If Libya settles down, maybe we’ll return to Wheelus. Or not.

Out of 550 how many will be an effective response force and what is the DOC?

congratulations on getting out from “mother navy’s apron”…now tell me why we have two separate armies?

So, operationally, what’s the response time (prep and flight time) to various North African countries from Spain? Given that response time, the Benghazi crisis would have been long over by the time the Marines get there from Spain. So, is this force really a political show at a time of budget crisis?

And why wouldn’t you station it closer to high risk countries, such as in Sicily or Malta, as suggested above if you really were deploying a crisis response force?

gee.…templar…I couldhav’ swore that there was a cutter @ yankee station in ’68 (a old DD ?) to pluck nuggets out of the s.china sea. Could be wrong.……gettin old

oh yes and don’t for get SOUDA BAY GREECE, played a big roll in 91, they sure could use the old American dollar at this point. besides its a very nice port visit for all the ships. they have the air strip, coms, and support det

Wheelus if not mistaken might be a lil’ 2 far south, It would reduce the combat range of this type of force.

Lajes was announced as Africom command a few years ago, why not lajes?

Another branch would just be more stationary, red tape and flag ranks. The Air Force should have never been separated from the Army completely and if you want to see the redundancies that could have been prevented in that relationship, just compare their MOS’, training pipelines, commands like AFSOC and USASOC, bases and such.

550 Marines! While I have greatest respect for the USMC, this is a pathetic show of force., How many will/b combat arms? 1st, the V-22? they carry what 30 full.equip. marines?. That aircraft has been plagued w/safety, opert. & cost over-runs from the gitgo! Why not a CH-53E or even a CH-47D! At least then the aircraft inserting the combat troops can provided supressive fire, add a AC-130! The mission; air assault? forced airborne entry? in an urban terrain AO? & w/what type of close as?, marine cobra’s…harriers? u gotta have seahawks or seakinghts 4 cas.evac, resupply, epw evac. etc what happens when the ground co yells alamo! If the whole opposing force sets up a diversion & ambush sceanario? I have more Q’s than answers on this one.

Heck, while we’re wishing how about Rota, Spain, it has land that can be developed north of the 12k ft. runway of the former NAS Rota and the Naval Station Rota for USMC ship transports/ equipment, etc. Nice beach and liberty port. :)

real easy, one comes from the sea, on comes over-land or air/assault air/drop w/a sheet load of A-10’s swarmin’ around w.a BUFF or a Bone on station. And RPV’s reconin’ out ahead

numerous cutters did coastal interdiction off the coast

If anything, it puts Saharan Africa in striking range. Chad, CAR, Egypt if need be.

Spain is better to hit Morocco, but that’s about it. There’s western africa which is accessible by sea, but not easily by Spain.

We need a SOFA though. Alternatively, some Libyan desert airbase to the south will suffice.

good point I agree w/about 80%. Co-located bases are a relic of the AAF day’s, & havin’ SAC (?) does it still exist? under a “ground pounder” command structure kinda gives me the willies, ur spot on with the growth of all these branch & inter-branch commands, all with a sheet load of stars & their respective entrouages…kinda top heavy if u ask this OCS grad.

Don’t speak of morocco again Pig swine nasty murders mother fuckers satan worshipers.
Morocco saved the jews that spain expelled them. Spain always collaborated with the Nazis.

good legal point, just make them all title 32 service members…same pay & benies, & a nice way around PCA.……where did all those soldiers guarding trains, airports, & infrastructure come from??

ur right blight, 4 some reason I thought the base was located in the southern desert part of Libya, not on the coast, I stand corrected! (presntly stndin’ on 1 foot) LOL

The national guard can be activated by state governors and they typically have orders in place about what they can and can’t do.

The USCG has a national security role but that is far from their day in day out typical mission.

I would think coming to an agreement with the UK for space in Cyprus would be politically easier as well as less of a force protection headache.

You mean Franco?

Do you still call Germany Nazistan? Are Japanese people Tojos in your mind?

Jews didn’t make out well post Reconquista, but anti-Semitism under Islamic rule has always been cyclical. The high points of interfaith collaboration were only when the empire was better off, and after a few regime changes it progressively got worse, especially as the non-Muslim nations accelerated ahead of the moribund corpse of the Middle East and North Africa.

The USA should not police the world. The USA needs to get out of NATO and the UN. If military action is required ‚“War” should be declared by Congress. Not the President,the CIA,or even Hillary. If the WTO expects protection in all these foreign lands they can get their own military. Meanwhile the USA should not participate militarily worldwide anymore. The USA needs to stop escalating wars by : not sending money,arms,food,advisers,bribes,and who knows what else our Secretary of State dowels out. This one world order concept is a big problem for the people in the USA called “Blue-collar”. GE, General Motors,Ford,and all the like can hire their own “Pinkerton” protection. It will not stop until people realize that buying foreign products is bad for our economy.

Are you saying Rota is closed now? Dang! That was one nice place and now cared if you “lisped” when you talked around there.…

Think about it, 550 hard charging Marines in Spain, They can reach Morocco,Algeria,Libya and Egypt with in hours and with air refueling they can cover the whole med. With boots on the ground, They can protect any American Embassy or operation in the area. This will really show off what the V-22 can do. We as Americans are not the policemen of this world but the Marines are. This is what we do best.

The Marines are their own branch of the tree. There 184,000 Marines. 2.4 Million Army,2.2 Navy and about 1.9 million in the Air Force. The Marines are about 10% of the people in Department of Defense. If the Marine Corp was 500,000 then we would not be the Marine Corp. In 240 years a Marine Officer has never surrendered his troops in combat. That is what makes us different. Remember the Navy most famous leader John Paul Jones who uttered those famous words” I have not yet began to fight ” had a detachment of Marines and Turkish Sailors abord the Bonn Hom Richard.

Side Note:
If you were in the Army,Navy or Air Force and wanted to be a Marine. You would have to go threw our boot camp. But if you were Coast Guard you do not have to attend our 84 days of hell.

5 months if Afghanistan is any indication. And even then only after the army has secured the country.

550 marines in Morocco,Algeria,Libya or Egypt would be dead in 72 hours.

They are not going anywhere they re just “drapes” — cover for a rendition camp and a few drones that’s all.

Article l read was 225, the rest are the crews and support for the V22s and C130s. It’s an embassy evacuation unit more or less l would imagine.

Marines don’t have CH-47’s

You don’t sound like you know what you are talking about at all.

First off a ch-47 can’t deploy from nearly as far.

I would love to pick your whole post apart in detail but my time is short.

In short it is called tactics. I do agree that it is not enough, but complaining about the equipment used is stupid. The harvest hawk has gunship capabilities now also.

Though I sort of agree with you, I would have to point out the ability to have ships with supplies (remember beans, bandages, and bullets are important), having the ARG nearby isn’t such a bad thing. The MEU, and for that matter the MEB are configured to be sea lifted, supported, and sustained. I speak from experience having been a Marine both officer and enlisted for 30 years.

I wonder if the commander of the Marine detachment aboard the Chesapeake remembered to not surrender in combat when the Shannon defeated that ship.

Wake Island.

Agree that the USMC should be a separate service under DoD, they are already the largest Marines Corps in the world, much bigger than their Chinese, Russian, British, French etc., counterparts. They are in fact America’s second land Army whether they like to admit it or not. The fact that they cannot count (240 years of service to America) given the fact that the Continental Marines did almost no fighting in the Revolutionary War, and the fact that they were disbanded for ten years thereafter gives them about 228 years of service to America, not 240.

Also when they become a separate service branch they will be forced off of the parasitic relationship of the other services. They will have to stand up their own medical corps and pay R&D for weapons and training. That big sucking sound of marines getting a free ride from the Navy, Air Forces and Army will be gone.

Yes, the marines should become a separate service and have to pay the Navy for the use of their ships as platforms for marines and marine aircraft.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that the marines can’t keep up with the U.S. Army when it comes to deployments (7 months for marines vs. 12–15 months for Soldiers) and also when it comes to the speed of maneuvering on the battlefield. An example of this was in the race to capture Baghdad in the opening days of OIF, the U.S. Army’s 3rd I.D. fought well ahead of the 1st Marine Regiment commanded by Col. Dowdy who could not extract his marines from the fighting around the city of al-Kut. Col. Dowdy was later relieved of command. Elements of the 3rd I.D. and the 1st marine regiment were suppose to arrive in the city at the same time.

The marines like to think of themselves as the “First to Fight, yet history has proven otherwise.

Your numbers are ridiculously old. Navy and Air Force are in the low 300 thousands. Army is around 500 Thousand. I don;t know how far back your numbers are from but the Navy hasn’t had over a million since at least the mid 1970’s

550 marines in Morocco,Algeria,Libya or Egypt isn’t a bridgehead it’s a hostage crisis.

Do we have a hungry tummy today troll?

Yea, the Army comes in to clean up like house maids. Check your history.

Don’t forget the 4th Marines at Corrigador or the USMC forces left behind from the raid on Makin Atoll.

Do you know why there is a large US Army? Because every team needs a good SECOND string!

You all did read the full article, they will be training African troops. That does not mean africans will go to Spain. Marines deploy and train thus will be able to respond rather quickly, from locations throughout northern African. Thus the enemy will not know where they are at and how fast they can get there. The MV22B version has an excellent safety record and can insert troops faster and safer than any other platform. ie “OperationCobra’s Anger” But all that said it is know we could have responded to Bengazi we chose not to, FACT!

Right On! Smedley D. Butler recognized the problem in the thirties. It has gotten much worse since WWII, starting with our unnecessary undeclared war in Viet Nam from a Marine who has been there and done that.

Please word that last sentence. you said “We chose not to”, actually it should read “The administration choice not to.” I am sure most would have gone in a heart beat, but people above the Military choice not to because they really believed that it was just a demonstration.

500 pax to work in the BG’s staff and 50 combat Marines… sounds about right.

That’s it, just keep spreading our forces thinner around the World.

OOH RAH, thanks.
Semper Fi

All of them, they are and will always be Marines.
Semper Fi

I would leave the Greeks alone riding their Trojan horse. How about negotiating an agreement with Bulgaria which is stratigly well located?

i think our fearless leaders were embarrassed by the French Foreign Legion and a few Mirages getting to run rampant through Mali. Now we will be able to play in that sandbox too. Marines have always been political troops in the sense of going when an Army presence was considered too much. a token force, a trip wire, an alamo in the making, all Yes but still that’s why they exist. as the old saying went “Semper Fi, Mac” which used to mean, to hell with you, i got mine, go find your own.

Is it coincidental that the Marines boarding the MV22 are wearing parachutes & skydive helmets? Seems to me we risk our Marines to make a sales pitch to our Spanish allies for Osprey sales. Odd that an aircraft touted to be constructed for rapid insertion of combat troops into hot LZs would be equipped for a chute jump. In terms of a big sale of machines, it would not do well for the plane to crash with all souls lost.….….bad for sales, you know.

The principle reason for this force is a more timely response to an embassy security situation in the region.

Just curious how far these C-130 tankers could send the MV-22 force w/ combat Marines to an operational quick reaction deployment somewhere in Africa, from Spain? 1,250nm one-way? More? Less?

I’d like to see a study to evaluate whether a commercial make cargo ship hull could be acquired and converted with a deck, to be operated as a sort of relocatable, sea-based, moving flight ops barge enabling such a capacity?

Perhaps what, $300-$400m total cost for such a no-frills, area-deployed, relocatable quick-response deployment barge?

It could double as tender for maybe 4x M80 type force protection ships?

During surge, 30x? 40x MV-22, including buddy tankers, could operate? 1,000 Marines? As few as 4-5x MV-22 and 75 special Marine combat troops could deploy in normal standby conditions?

While we’ll always be grateful for allies and alliances to allow for this type over-seas contingency planning and joint-capability/deterrence, I feel it’s also worth reevaluating next-gen sea-based type concepts to better augment the future contingency requirements.

AFRICOM leaders could later decide to station this Marine Air Ground Task Force on the African continent, but he said the force will remain temporarily at Morón.

Thank you Roger
Semper Fi

this unit is a lot more than an embassy
evacuation unit

30 min to lauch + 3+00 flight time to Benghazi Taxpayer…that’s called bang for your buck…and a US Ambassador et al is alive and well…should the President have been awake to make the call.

550 well equipped active duty infantry marines, or Army, could suppress and defend against thousands from any of the mentioned trash countries.

I think those Marines about the board the Ospreys are thinking, “I hope I make it to the fight.”

why not just have like 200 heavily gunned Marines living there at the embassy and when the very first rag head pops his head over the wall and just one leg take like a 50 cal. and blow his f-ing leg off then his damned head Put a stop to all this bull shit kill them before they kill us

The Army went around all the hard fighting and went straight into Baghdad while the Marines were doing all the real work. This is fact, I was there.

*required

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.