170609 M GL218 299On October 19, 2017, the Center for Adaptation and Innovation (CAI) hosted the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF), Rotation 17.2. The SPMAGTF-CR-AF is an ad hoc command element based in Morón, Spain, and consists of 998 marines and sailors who conduct crisis response activities across the U.S. Africa Command Area of Responsibility (AOR). The SPMAGTF-CR-AF conducts crisis response planning when Amphibious Ready Groups and Marine Expeditionary Units are not allocated, and the SPMAGTF-CR-AF serves as a flexible deployed, shore-based MAGTF capable of crisis response, contingency operations, and theater security cooperation events.

The SPMGAGTF-CR-AF was deployed from 04 April 2017, to 01 October 2017, and provided crisis response and limited contingency capabilities for the USAFRICOM AOR. Part of an ongoing effort to improve multinational cooperation, and ensure stability in the face of violent extremism, the SPMAGTF-CR-AF conducted 18 theater security cooperation (TSC) activities to build African nation partner capacity, and conducted 20 security cooperation engagements in 11 African countries. The SPMAGTF-CR-AF also increased NATO interoperability through 27 bilateral training events across the USUECOM, and continuously balanced alert requirements with sustainment training.

Another focus of the 180 deployment were embassy engagements, which were conducted with the U.S. Department of State. Embassy engagements provide access and permission to align country objectives, and leverage each organization’s capability in supporting the USAFRICOM objective. The SPMAGTF-CR-AF conducted cross-training exercises with the Ugandan Defense Forces, and supported the return of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya to Tripoli.

Training is critical to improving readiness, and the SPMAGTF-CR-AF constantly trained with European partners to better position themselves for their next deployment. In addition, the SPMAGTF-CR-AF optimized logistical processes, and leveraged the Aviation’s Logistics Division, and formed partnerships with the Fleet Logistics Center-Sigonella and DLA to reduce Customer Wait Time. Key takeaways therefore were the importance of maintaining relations with NATO partners, and an increased focus on sustaining force readiness and interoperability. 

For more information, please read the article, “Crisis Response Force Commander: Deploy a Meu to the Mediterranean.” 

Pictured: Thies, Senegal - Cpl. Seth Carney, a rifleman with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa, observes the accuracy of a soldier with Senegal’s 5th Contingent in Mali during a peacekeeping operations training mission at Thies, Senegal, June 9, 2017. 



The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Ballston Metro Center Office Towers
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.525.0770

Click here for map  

Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


Follow Us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on LinkedIn  See us on YouTube