Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa 13 works with rotary clubs to clean Catania beaches
By 2nd Lt. Tatiana Zappardino
| Marine Corps Forces Africa | July 24, 2013
SIGONELLA, Italy --
The beaches of Catania are a little cleaner with the help of Marines from the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 13 alongside the Catania West and Duomo 150 rotary clubs in Catania, Italy, July 17.
Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa accumulated over twenty bags of trash with the help of the youth groups Rotaract Catania West and Interact Catania West.
“Thanks to the help of the Americans, we are getting this done much faster,” said Michele Pennisi, president of Rotaract Catania West.
These clubs afford students ranging from 13-25 years old the opportunity to give back to their community by getting involved in projects. These two youth groups have conducted numerous beach cleanups in the past and continue to incorporate Good Samaritan acts in their day-to-day lives.
Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa 13 has done this event several times in the past but for the new iteration, it is their first chance to say “hello.”
“We do a lot of projects like cleaning the city for our community,” said Alessandra Bellia, president of Interact Catania West.
The purpose of this cleanup is to build awareness for the community by setting the example of how to keep the Sicilian shores clean.
“The willingness to help out is great for the Italian-American relationship,” said Cpl. Dustin Dixon, a data network specialist with Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa.
The Marines in the task force were able to learn some Italian words as well as gain cultural awareness from their new neighbors. They continue to build a foundation for opportunities to serve in more community service events in the future.
Located at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa strengthens U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Africa, and U.S. Africa Command’s ability to assist partner nations in addressing their security challenges. The approximately 180 Marines and sailors conduct security force assistance, military-to-military engagements and are trained to provide support to crisis response. The current iteration is staffed primarily from 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, out of Baltimore, M.D., as part of a pre-planned six-month deployment.