Friday, June 19, 2015

US, Spain Sign Deal On Permanent Base For Africa Force

US, Spain Sign Deal On Permanent Base For Africa Force: Washington and Madrid signed a deal Wednesday setting up a permanent force of 2,200 US Marines based in southern Spain who can be swiftly deployed to crises in Africa.

The US already has a rapid reaction force of about 800 troops at MorĂ³n de la Frontera, near Seville, who were deployed temporarily in the wake of the 2012 attack on a US mission in Benghazi, eastern Libya.

Four Americans, including the ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed when dozens of armed militants stormed the compound and a nearby CIA facility in an hours-long gunbattle, which triggered protests that no US troops could be deployed fast enough to help them.

"The deployment at the Moron base will be made permanent with a force of 2,200 military personnel and 500 civilian staff plus 26 aircraft," Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said late last month.