«Last year, after notifying the Spanish Ministry of Defense, the United States Department of Defense transferred responsibility for the response to the crisis in Africa to a crisis response force led by the United States Army, based in Vicenza (Italy)”.
In this way he explains a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Spain the decision to have transferred to the Italian base of Vicenza its military reaction force for Africa, which until now had half a thousand ‘marines’ at the base of Morón de la Frontera (Seville). An information advanced by the newspaper ‘El País’.
The reason is merely organizational and structural Since from that Italian base in Vicenza it was decided that the US Army would be the one to take responsibility for any rapid reaction in Africa to defend US interests.
“The redeployment of the aviation element of the US Marine Corps, which will be relocated along with the rest of the crisis response force, completes this transfer,” the same sources indicate.
Thus the US ‘marines’ put an end to eight years of presence at the Morón base, where they went after an agreement between Washington and Madrid.
The objective was that this detachment (“Special Force for Crisis Response of the Marine Corps”, SP-MAGTF) could react in just 3-4 hours in any African scenario in its area of influence. This would prevent another crisis such as the one that occurred in the US consulate in Benghazi (Libya) in which the ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other US citizens died on September 11, 2012.
It was in June 2015 that the Government of Spain and the United States signed in Washington the definitive amendment protocol to the bilateral Defense agreement to increase the number of marines allowed at the Morón base.
The number of troops was raised to a maximum of 2,220 military (only achievable in times of crisis), 500 officials and 36 aircraft (MV-22 «Osprey» aircraft and KC 130J «Super Hercules» aircraft for in-flight refueling). Although those figures were never reached and always hovered between 500 and 800.
The same source from the US Embassy in Spain wants to emphasize that the decision is merely operational: «Our bilateral defense association remains vital. Cooperation between the United States and Spain in support of NATO missions remains critical, and our commitment to maintaining a US presence in Spain, including advanced naval forces deployed in Rota, remains strong.
On RotaThe US is authorized to deploy a maximum of 4,250 military personnel and 1,000 civilian personnel. All this with the four Aegis destroyers, 5 administrative aircraft for support services, 13 naval reconnaissance aircraft and 18 maritime patrol and surface ocean surveillance aircraft.
This detachment has been reinforced with more modern destroyers equipped with helicopters and could be reinforced in the future with the arrival of two additional ships.
“The United States appreciates the exceptionally close relationship and long-standing bilateral defense cooperation with Spain. We are partners and allies in NATO. The smooth cooperation in our collective efforts to evacuate vulnerable Afghans is just one recent and public example of our strong relationship, ”says the same source from the US Embassy.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism