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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.

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