The USMC is preparing to deploy 2,100 Marines to Kuwait under the auspices of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF).
The deployment was planned before the current “conflict in Iraq and Syria with the Islamic State” began.
According to Defense News, Colonel Kenneth DeTreux said the SPMAGTF will be deployed in “fiscal ’15.” They will have “attack aircraft, the AV-8B Harrier, and support aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey and KC-130 Super Hercules.”
The SPMAGTF “will be equipped to perform noncombat evacuation, humanitarian assistance, infrastructure support, tactical aircraft recovery, fixed-site security and theater sustainment missions.”
But DeTreux made clear that the ultimate use of SPMAGTF will depend on politics: “I think as a military guy, you understand there’s going to be political and diplomatic lenses you look through. We just have to remain flexible, agile and responsive.”
Brig. General John Love said a similar SPMAGTF will be launched for U.S. Southern Command. He said, “We believe that by having multiple, forward-deployed, tailored MAGTFs, the efficiencies they gain will provide a sustainable and enduring worldwide crisis-response capability.”
The U.S. began planning the deployment of thousands of Marines to Kuwait in 2012. Fox News reported that plan was to send approximately 13,500 Marines in numerous flexible response teams, like the teams preparing to deploy to Kuwait and the U.S. Southern Command.
The AP reported that the deployments were the outworking of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee study which looked at Kuwait and the surrounding region. The study described the region as “home to more than half the world’s oil reserves and over a third of its natural gas” and said “the stability of the Persian Gulf is critical to the global economy.”
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