Monday, February 2, 2015

Marine Corps merges units that operate in Africa

Marine Corps merges units that operate in Africa: Two European-based units that operate in Africa have merged in an effort to streamline Marine Corps missions on the vast continent.

The Corps has combined SPMAGTF-Africa, a unit based in Italy that conducts training with military partners in African countries like Uganda and Senegal, with its Spain-based unit that responds to crises across Africa. The two units now fall under SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa.

Marine officials termed the merger a name change with little structural effect. It was designed to avoid confusion as more crisis response units were created like the new crisis response unit for the Middle East, which is called SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Central Command.

The name changed in September, but Marines with the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, are the first battalion to deploy to fill the two missions that now fall under one unit.

"There is no loss or relocation of resources, personnel, or capabilities in connection to this name change in September," said Lt. Col. Sean Roche, the operations officer with SPMAGTF-Crisis Response-Africa. "The redesignation, or name change, only clarified the already existing command structure under the [colonel] level commander."

The Marines will still be split between Italy and Spain, as they were when the units were separate.