Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response (SPMAGTF-CR)
"Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response (SPMAGTF-CR) provides US Africa Command (AFRICOM) the capability to respond to crises in the Command's area of responsibility. The unit is capable of responding across a broad range of military operations and provides limited defense crisis response in support of US Embassies in the region, to support non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, search and rescue, and other missions as directed. SPMAGTF-CR, assigned to Marine Forces Africa (MARFORAF), is a rotational contingent based at Moron Air Base in Spain, consisting of approximately 500 Marines, sailors, and support elements sourced from a variety of Marine Corps units to include II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
On 11 September 2012, a number of Americans, including the US Ambassador to Libya, were killed during an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. After a review of the events and security measures in place, it was decided to establish a response force to respond to similar incidents and other crises on the continent of Africa, should they occur in the future. In April 2013, Spain granted the temporary use of Moron Air Base as a forward operating location for the force, to consist of 500 Marines and 8 aircraft. The agreement allowed the basing of the force at Moron Air Base for one year.
On 27 April 2013, 6 MV-22B Ospreys and 2 KC-130Js flew from Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina to Moron De La Frontera, Spain, where they joined other command-and-control assets and support staff to make up the aviation command element (ACE) for SPMAGTF-CR. The MV-22Bs came from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (VMM-365), while the KC-130Js came from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252). The transit of the MV-22Bs from the United States to Spain was the longest and largest transatlantic flight of any Osprey squadron up to that time. The MV-22B Ospreys wee a key component of SPMAGTF-CR, being capable of completing a 325-nautical mile flight with 20-24 combat equipped personnel without an aerial refuel or auxiliary fuel tanks.
In December 2013, elements of SPMAGTF-CR were deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti and Entebbe Uganda as part of the US response to the crisis in South Sudan. KC-130 aircraft from the Task Force were subsequently used to help evacuate US embassy personnel and other US nationals from the country.
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