Spain to host U.S. rapid reaction military force

C-17s at Morón AB during Operation Enduring Freedom. Image Source: Wikipedia

In order to combat the crises in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Spain has agreed to host a U.S. rapid reaction military force.

The BBC reported that the agreement between Spain and the United States will allow 2,200 U.S. troops and 500 civilian staff to be permanently stationed near the city of Seville.

From this post, the troops will be able to launch missions to rescue U.S. citizens, protect their embassies and intervene in humanitarian crises and military conflicts.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said, “The aim is to contribute to the stability of the region and common security in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.” She added that the number of U.S. aircraft that could be deployed from the base would increase to 26.

According to the BBC, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Madrid early next week to sign an amendment to the 1988 defense partnership agreement. The amendment will still need to be approved by Spain’s parliament and it would have to be renewed every year.

Saenz de Santamaria also noted that the U.S. would still need to obtain permission for missions from Moron Air Base.

The air base in southern Spain already hosts 850 U.S. troops. The post has been used jointly by U.S. and Spanish forces since 1953.

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