SIGONELLA, Italy -- The 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett visited Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, Sept. 3, to meet the Marines, sailors and coastguardsmen of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.
During the visit, Amos and Barrett walked through individual work sections at SP-MAGTF Africa to meet the service members. He thanked them for the work they are putting in and their dedication to their country and the mission at hand.
“I know you probably hear it a lot, people thanking you for your service,” said Amos. “I don’t say it casually, or without meaning. I know what you do for your country…what you’ve endured. So when I say ‘thank you for your service,’ I mean that, from the bottom of my heart.”
Amos and Barrett also meritoriously promoted Lance Cpl. Antonio C. Galloway, an aircraft communications, navigation, electrical and weapon systems technician with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, to the rank of corporal.
“You are the backbone of the Marine Corps,” said Barrett. “You are the vital link between your commander, all officers and all the Marines that you are privileged to serve, and that you are privileged to lead. There’s nothing more honorable or more noble than to serve your nation.”
SP-MAGTF Africa is a rotational deployment of Marines and Sailors for theater security cooperation in various African countries that was started in 2011. The current iteration is sourced from units across II MEF including: 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 8th Combat Engineer Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Company 21, CLC-23, and Combat Logistics Regiment 27.
It is primarily sourced from CLB- 2 out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. CLB-2 is the first logistics battalion to serve as a command element for SP-MAGTF Africa. Also supporting SP-MAGTF Africa is a detachment from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.K. Royal Marines.
“The Marine Corps is the master of pulling people together to accomplish a mission,” said Amos. “What you’re doing here has given the Marine Corps more credibility than you can imagine, I spoke to the AFRICOM [U.S. Africa Command] commander yesterday and he said he knows that he can sleep at night knowing you’re here.”
SP-MAGTF Africa strengthens U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and U.S. Africa Command’s ability to assist partner nations in addressing their security challenges. Marines and sailors with SP-MAGTF Africa conduct theater security cooperation, military-to-military engagements and are trained to provide contingency support to crisis response.