Stuttgart, Germany -- The commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Gen. Stephen Townsend, traveled to Spain July 8 to 9, 2020, to discuss partnerships in Africa with senior Spanish defense leaders and the U.S. country team.
Townsend met with U.S. Ambassador to Spain Duke Buchan; Gen. Miguel Angel Villarroya, Spanish Chief of Defense; and Adm. (ret.) Juan Francisco Martinez Nunez, the Spanish Secretary General for Defense Policy.
“Spain is a valued NATO ally and an important partner in engagement and security in Africa," Townsend said. "Spain’s willingness to host U.S. forces and their role in Africa provides mutual training benefits and opportunities to address threats of mutual concern.”
Spain’s continued contributions to multilateral operations in Africa is an example of the international approach that is so critical to addressing shared security concerns in Africa. During discussions, both the U.S. and Spain expressed commitment to enhancing cooperation, promoting areas of mutual interest, and countering malign actors destabilizing Africa.
“As a NATO ally, Spain understands that enhancing global security and stability, especially in Africa, requires international cooperation,” said Townsend. “Enhancing security and stability in Africa makes both Europe and the U.S. more secure.”
The U.S. and Spain both participate in a number of security cooperation programs across the continent, and both countries have been working to help stem instability in Africa, with mutual cooperation on-going in the North Africa and Sahel regions.
Spain has participated in U.S. Africa Command’s military exercises across the continent, including Exercise African Lion, Obangame Express, Flintlock, and Phoenix Express.
“Spain is a vital ally, partner, and friend of the United States,” said Ambassador Buchan. “Gen. Townsend's visit highlights the close cooperation between our two countries on a range of global challenges, including the promotion of international peace and security.”
While in Spain, Townsend also had the opportunity to observe the U.S. Marine Corps Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response Africa perform a full mission profile rehearsal in Moron.
The SPMAGTF-CR-AF is responsible for crisis-response and theater-security operations in Africa and to promote regional stability by conducting military-to-military training exercises throughout Europe and Africa.