SIGONELLA, Italy --
Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 13 hit the ground running when they arrived at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Jan. 10.
SP- MAGTF Africa 13, is a pre-planned, rotational deployment of reserve Marines and sailors from 32 units across the nation.
“The primary function that we fill is to advise (and engage) our partner forces (in Africa),” said Lt. Col Daniel Whisnant, SP-MAGTF Africa 13 commanding officer.
“Marines come from all walks of life and have different experiences,” he said. “Working with them, and seeing them train, I am confident that they will be able to accomplish any task given to them.”
SP-MAGTF Africa 13’s mission is to mentor partner African nations and security organizations in the basics of an effective military unit. Security Cooperation engagements include; combat lifesaving, marksmanship, logistic planning, combat service support, operation of forward supply areas, combat engineering, and basic infantry skills.
Leadership development for officers and non-commissioned officers is also a prominent subject within the training.
“We try to embed as much of the ethos, honor, courage and commitment that we know and live as Marines,” Whisnant said. “It is critical to lay that foundation.”
The engagements are the result of two to three years of planning between the host nations and the United States. The designed outcome is to increase military capacity and create a self-sustained military force capable of maintaining independent regional security.
“There is a huge impact on the (partner forces we engage with) who learn these skills and in a few weeks will be ready to use them,” said Capt. Nicholas Degregorio, a team leader with the SP-MAGTF. “We’re providing the skills they require to complete their future missions successfully.”
Although a training and rapid response force, the Marines and sailors of SP-MAGTF Africa 13 have a higher mission goal.
“The real basis of our mission is the partnerships we develop,” Degregorio added. “We have an opportunity to make long lasting alliances in Africa. This is a great first step and it is not the end.”
Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 13 is a pre-planned, rotational deployment of Marines and sailors deployed to the African region to conduct theater-security cooperation through multi-lateral training engagements to bolster military capacity, promote regional stability, support crisis response situations, and build mutually-beneficial relationships with partner African nations, the African Union, and African regional security organizations.
Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 13 is stationed on Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, and rotate teams to the African continent to engage with host partner nations as directed by U.S. Africa Command and Marine Corps Forces Africa.