500 Marines Poised To Pounce On Egypt

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As chaos unfolds in Egypt, the U.S. Embassy is closed, and the Marine Corps is positioning assets to be able to respond to the crisis.

Some 500 Marines with a special-purpose Marine-Air Ground Task Force have been moved from Spain to Sigonella, Italy, to be better positioned should the U.S. need military force to respond to the crisis in Egypt, according to a report from Stars and Stripes.

The military deployed this special unit to the region in May, amid reports of planned demonstrations in Egypt.

“The reason we are here is to provide a scalable force to respond to unexpected crisis,” Maj. Zane Crawford, unit’s operations officer, said in a Marine Corps report in May. “We can rapidly deploy to support missions, such as embassy reinforcement, tactical recovery of aircraft, and personnel and noncombatant evacuation operations.”

This comes after the Pentagon and the Obama administration endured heavy criticism for a perceived inability to respond militarily to an assault on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, last year that left four Americans dead.

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