US to increase military presence at base in southern Spain

By Declan Scanlan Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:19 0
U.S. Air Force aircraft at Moron, Air Base, Spain U.S. Air Force aircraft at Moron, Air Base, Spain © Deniss, Wikipedia

WASHINGTON and Madrid have reached an agreement in which the US will bolster its crisis response force in the south of Spain.

The deal comes after an incident in Benghazi in 2012 when armed militants rushed the American consulate there and the US crisis response forces were too late to defend the base.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American personnel were killed in the Libya attack and this move from the Pentagon is to counter the threat of a repeated assault in similar areas.

In the base near Moron de la Frontera, around 40 miles south east of Seville, the US has a present deployment of around 800 troops.

The new military cooperation deal will mean a permanent deployment of up to 2,200 US service members most of which will be Marines and sailors.

US Colonel Calvert Worth said, “Right now, we are focused on those embassies that are positioned in the countries deemed most at risk for crisis."

"We have forces here that can operate out of Morón that can respond to western Africa, the Gulf of Guinea and northern Africa when called upon," Worth added.

The Spanish military has hundreds of troops at the same base and the two militaries engage in training operations together.

Troops can now travel to danger areas in bases like Sigonella and also in Africa including Senegal, Ghana and Gabon, and be within striking distance when needed.

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