Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Crisis Response – Africa 20.2 (“20” for the fiscal year, “2” for the 2nd rotation of the year) has begun its rotational deployment, ready to respond to crises, protect U.S. citizens and carry out security assistance activities on the African continent.

The new logistics combat element arrived May 11 and immediately began a 14-day quarantine period. Prior to release from quarantine, medical professionals of the 20.2 rotation collected nasopharyngeal specimens to screen for COVID-19. In accordance with Sicilian decrees, all arriving personnel must be tested for the virus. The swab tests were then transported to Germany to test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a contingent of over 700 Marines and Sailors located in Spain and Italy. The force is positioned to quickly respond to a broad spectrum of missions that range from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to providing military support to U.S. embassies and partner and allied nations.

The unit is a self-deploying, and highly mobile crisis response force allocated to U.S. Africa Command ready to respond to missions in both permissive and uncertain environments. These missions include contingency operations, theater security cooperation, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, enabling operations and other missions as directed.

As a way to give back to the host nations, U.S. Marines and Sailors volunteer their free time to service the local communities in both Spain and Italy through community relations events. Most recently these events included video chats with local Sicilian school students in order to discuss American culture and preparing the Naval Air Station Sigonella High School graduation ceremony.

The United States is grateful to the governments and citizens of Spain and Italy for allowing us to station this important security reaction force at Morón Air Base and Naval Air Station Sigonella. These bases are strategically positioned, and have the critical infrastructure necessary to host SPMAGTF-CR-AF Marines and Sailors.