By Staff Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy, Marine Corps Forces Africa
ALMERIA, Spain -- id="newsbody" style="margin-bottom: 16px; padding-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px;">U.S. Marines and Spanish Legionnaires refined urban and mountain warfare tactics together in Almería, Spain, Dec. 14-18, 2015.
The U.S. platoon with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa embedded within the Spanish company during the week-long exercise, which included company size attacks, military operations in urban terrain, squad level tactics, patrols and live fire training.
U.S. Marines and Spanish Legionnaires honed their warrior skills working together to understand each other’s strengths. Spanish Legionnaires embedded within the U.S. Marine squads, exchanged rifles, and cleared courtyards, buildings and walkways during MOUT training.
“It has been my first time working with the Spanish Legionnaires, and it’s been great,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Jacob Parker, a platoon sergeant with SPMAGTF-CR-AF. “They have very similar values to the Marine Corps, their esprit de corps, their training and their ethics.”
In the final 24 hours of the training, they patrolled to their staging area, slept a few hours and moved to the objective before sunrise. As soon as the first mortar impacted the side of a mountain, the silence was broken with overhead machine gun fire, the signal for the Marines to move into the objective.
“This type of training is very important,” said Spanish Lt. Daniel Prego, a platoon commander with the Spanish Legion. “If we are to deploy abroad, we have a possibility of working together, that’s why it’s good to learn each other’s tactics now, in a training environment.”
SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a self-sustaining crisis-response force prepared for the protection of American personnel and facilities on the African continent, when directed by U.S. Africa Command. The presence of SPMAGTF-CR-AF in Spain has enabled a notable increase in joint training opportunities, with more than 80 bilateral joint exercises between our militaries in the past two years and numerous exercises with NATO allies.