Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) - Black Sea Rotational Force (BSRF)
Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Force - Black Sea Rotational Force (BSRF)
The Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) - Black Sea Rotational Force (BSRF) is a rotational Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). The BSRF, which made its first deployment in 2010, was part of a multi-year commitment by Marine Corps Forces Europe (MARFOREUR) to deploy United States-based marines and sailors on a rotating basis to installations in Europe. The BSRF was intended to be tailorable and scalable, focused on the performance of security cooperation and civil-military operations. The BSRF was a follow-on to a previous rotational force, Joint Task Force - East, which had been led by US Army Europe.
About 100 US marines and sailors departed their home bases for the Black Sea region in the first weeks of May 2010 to join the first deployment of the BSRF. The BSRF's mission for its inaugural 3-month deployment was to conduct multilateral security cooperation activities with partner nations in the Black Sea, Balkan, and Caucasus regions in order to enhance our collective professional military capacity, promote regional stability, and build enduring relationships with our partner nations. Additionally, through peacekeeping operations training, military to military familiarization events, and community relations projects, the US marines and sailors deployed to the Black Sea were charged with building enduring partnerships with partner nations in the region. The deployment of the BSRF to Romania was scheduled to complete 40 percent of MARFOREUR's theater security cooperation requirements over the 3-month period.
For the initial deployment, the BSRF included the 1st Tank Battalion, a detachment of 2 KC-130T aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 (VMGR-452), personnel from VMGR-234, and the 4th Civil Affairs Group. The BSRF began operations in Romania in May 2010, subsequently departing there in June 2010. While in Romania the BSFR had conducted peacekeeping operations training with Macedonian, Ukrainian and Romanian Marines and soldiers. The Air Element's KC-130T Hercules aircraft supported the force, providing cargo and personnel aerial lift capabilities and training support for Romanian airborne forces. After the conclusion of operations in Romania, most BSRF members were scheduled to move south to Bulgaria's Novo Selo Training Area to begin peacekeeping operations training with Bulgarian soldiers. However, a number of Marines would stay at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airfield in Romania throughout the BSRF's deployment to Eastern Europe to support an additional logistics symposium.
The 2011 deployment of marines and sailors with the BSRF, also referred to as the Black Sea Rotational Force 11, to the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions was to work with foreign nations and help build their military training capacity, promote stability throughout the region, and build enduring partnerships with 13 nations throughout Eastern Europe. The BSRF's second rotation included marines and sailors from the Anti-Terrorism Battalion and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Beginning in May 2011, the second rotation of the BSRF redeployed in September 2011. During the deployment the BSRF participated in Exercise Agile Spirit in Georgia. Agile Spirit played an important role in Overseas Contingency Operations and was scheduled to become an annual exercise to supplement the existing Georgia Deployment Program, another training evolution that trained Georgian armed forces to deploy to Afghanistan in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
The BSRF's 2012 rotation (also referred to as Black Sea Rotational Force 12), a 6-month deployment, was to include training exercises with 19 nations planned throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucusus regions. The BSRF's third rotation involved some 360 personnel, mostly from the Marine Corps Reserve's 4th Reconnaissance Battalion.
The BSRF began their 2012 rotation with the annual Exercise Agile Spirit on Vaziani Training Area in Georgia, on 12 March 2012. The combined exercise between the United States Marine Corps and the Georgian Land Forces was designed to enhance interoperability, promote regional stability and build camaraderie amongst the forces. Upon completion of Agile Spirit, the marines and sailors of the BSRF were to redeploy to Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania and continue their assigned mission which involves training exercises with 19 nations planned throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucusus regions. BSRF members worked with Romanian soldiers in Iasi, Romania from May to July 2012. The deployed elements of the BSRF redeployed in August 2012.
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