Report: US Seeks Permanent Deal to Base Additional Troops in Spain

Members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, April 24, 2013The Defense Department is seeking an agreement that would allow Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa to be permanently stationed in Morón, Spain, according to a report from the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The Jan. 5 story cites a December letter from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to unnamed Spanish officials asking for a redraft of the current year-to-year agreement. If approved, the paper reported, the new agreement would pave the way for as many as 3,000 U.S. troops to be stationed at Morón Air Base, in the southern region of Andalusia, which now houses the task force….

The most recent update to this treaty for the Marine Corps was the Spanish government’s March 2014 decision to allow an additional 300 Marines to be based in Morón, bringing total task force strength to 850. That decision also extended the unit’s presence on the base for another year.

El Pais reports that the current agreement is due to expire in April, meaning the Marines must move if terms cannot be reached in the reported negotiations.

Image: Members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, April 24, 2013 (photo: Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels/DoD)