Marine Expeditionary Force stands up in Centcom

1 Oct 2014 | Nick Simeone The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

A newly established Marine Corps task force is intended to improve the Defense Department’s response to crises in the Middle East and South and Central Asia, Pentagon Spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby announced Sept. 30.

The special-purpose Marine air-ground task force will be drawn from Marines and aircraft based in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Kirby said.

The task force will improve Centcom’s ability to support theater security cooperation, including conducting exercises and responding to contingencies, he explained.

Kirby said planning for the 2,300-strong rotational force began last year and is not in response to ongoing operations in Iraq, but rather the “new normal” in the Centcom region.

A similar expeditionary force is based at Moron Air Base in Spain to support U.S. Africa Command. That task force was expanded in April to nearly 700 Marines and is capable of conducting a range of operations, including evacuations, humanitarian assistance as well as support for U.S. embassies.