Marines to use Osprey for Africa quick reaction force
The Marine Corps and Army have developed quick-reaction forces to respond to attacks such as the one in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.I am still surprised the special ops forces in Djibouti were not able to respond to events in Benghazi. It does seem clear the military was not prepared to deal with the situation and that is not acceptable. North Africa has become a cauldron of al Qaeda activity since Obama's Libya fiasco allowed weapons to slip into their hands.
The Marines will base 500 troops at Moron Air Force Base in Spain, about 35 miles southeast of Seville, said Capt. Eric Flanagan, a Marine Corps spokesman. They can be flown on short notice to African crises aboard six Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
Those aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter and cruise at more than 300 mph. Two KC-130 tanker aircraft have been dedicated to refuel them in flight, which will expand their reach.
The unit is known as the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force for Crisis Response. It will act as a first responder to U.S. embassies in the region on behalf of U.S. Africa Command, Flanagan said. It will be on standby to help evacuate Americans from hot spots and to provide disaster relief and humanitarian missions.
The Army has developed the East Africa Response Force, which operates under the Combined Joint Task Force -- Horn of Africa. Its headquarters are at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The company-size unit is equipped with aircraft to conduct evacuations and rescue missions in the region.