U. S. Marines and Sailors with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa 20.1, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, are participating in a combined exercise with the Spanish Navy and Marines near the Balearic Islands aboard the Spanish naval vessel Juan Carlos I.
The purpose of this exercise, dubbed “BALEAREX,” is to increase proficiency and interoperability with allied naval and amphibious forces by deploying U.S. aircraft aboard Spanish amphibious ships, and rehearsing missions using personnel and equipment from both nations’ naval and amphibious forces.
This exercise, which is scheduled to complete Nov. 17, tests an operational concept called Amphibious Maritime Basing and Interoperability (AMBI), and will help streamline practices and procedures between U.S. naval forces and the Spanish, enhancing the Spanish and American capability to respond rapidly and efficiently to potential future crises.
The highlight of BALEAREX will be a joint operation where American and Spanish Marines will lift off the Juan Carlos I in MV-22 Ospreys and conduct a simulated mission in the nearby Balearic Islands before returning to the ship. This high-level of combined mission planning and interoperability during a complex raid puts into practice the essential elements of AMBI, which increases interoperability with allies and gives more flexible military options for decision-makers to carry out the full range of military operations. The exercise will conclude with a military demonstration for senior US and Spanish military officers, which is set to take place on the island of Ibiza.
SPMAGTF-CR-AF 20.1 deployed to Morón de la Frontera, Spain in mid-September and is postured to respond to a broad range of military operations in the U.S. Africa Command region, including U.S. Embassy reinforcement, fixed-site security, non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, theater security cooperation, and other missions as directed.