The official request for forces for a SPMAGTF-CR-AF was made in February 2013, and the Marine Corps established the initial force in March 2013. SPMAGTF-CR-AF made the Transatlantic flight of (2) KC-130Js and (6) MV-22B Ospreys to Morón Air Base, Spain in April 2013. Although positioned in Europe, SPMAGTF-CR-AF operates in support of USAFRICOM. Forward-basing of the SPMAGTF-CR-AF in Europe increases the capability of the command to rapidly respond to incidents on the continent of Africa in support of USAFRICOM combatant commander’s contingency requirements. Since its inception, the force has positioned to respond to unrest and contingency operations six times: May, September, October, and December 2013; and again in July and October 2014.
SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a rotational contingent of approximately 800 Marines, Sailors and support elements sourced from a variety of Marine Corps units to include II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Its organic assets include 12 MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, four KC-130J Hercules aerial refueling tankers, one UC-12, a logistics and sustainment element, and a reinforced company of infantry Marines. SPMAGTF-CR-AF is commanded by Col. Thomas B. Savage.
• SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a self-command and controlled, self-deploying, and highly mobile crisis response force allocated to U.S. Africa Command to respond to missions in permissive and uncertain environments to protect U.S. personnel, property, and interests in the AFRICOM area of responsibility.
• In addition to the forces positioned at Moron Air Base, an infantry company of Marines subordinate to SPMAGTF-CR-AF is positioned out of MK, Romania. The company is not attached to Black Sea Rotational Force, also at MK. This company is also allocated to USAFRICOM in order to provide additional rapid response forces to the African continent.
• SPMAGTF-CR-AF is postured to respond to a broad range of military operations in the AFRICOM region, including: U.S. Embassy reinforcement, fixed-site security, non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, theater security cooperation, and other missions as directed. Additionally, SPMAGTF-CR-AF can serve as the lead element, or the coordination node, for a larger joint/combined element.