LIBREVILLE, Gabon --
U.S. Marines and Sailors from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, Europe, operating under Task Force 61/2, U.S. Sixth Fleet, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and U.S. Africa Command, conducted Judicious Activation – Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team 2023, April 24-28, 2023.
During Judicious Activation 2023, Marines and Sailors from CTG 61/2.3, stationed in Rota, Spain, participated in a reoccurring bilateral exercise run by USAFRICOM. This year’s iteration was in partnership with the host nation of Gabon.
“This exercise validates AFRICOM’s capability to conduct crisis response operations, leveraging force sharing agreements with EUCOM for allocated forces,” said Maj Timothy Stefan, Commanding Officer of FASTEUR. “Additionally, it provides us the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Departments of State and Defense with host nation partners in USAFRICOM as they work together to maintain and strengthen security measures.”
“This is also an excellent opportunity to conduct cross training with Marine Security Guards at USEMB Libreville, and an exchange of information with our Gabonese partner forces.” Capt. Connor McMahon, FASTEUR Platoon Commander
During this exercise, CTG 61/2.3 conducted the deployment of personnel and assets in coordination with the Department of State and Gabonese Republic host nation and coalition forces, testing their theater support cooperation capabilities as a rapidly deployable force capable of responding to crisis in the AFRICOM region.
Judicious Activation 23 validates the ability for the deployment of FASTEUR in support of U.S. personnel and investments in the region while strengthening partnerships through host nation exchange of knowledge. 1stLt Jason Mounombo, Gabonese Republican Guard, says “this exchange was a very important part for the Gabonese law enforcement and I would like to very much do it again.”
“Through this exercise, we are demonstrating a key FAST mission set; activating on short notice, moving organic personnel and gear as well as enablers, and capable of reinforcing a U.S. embassy within our Area of Operations, to include EUCOM and AFRICOM regions,” said Capt. Connor McMahon, FASTEUR Platoon Commander. “This is also an excellent opportunity to conduct cross training with Marine Security Guards at USEMB Libreville, and an exchange of information with our Gabonese partner forces.”
Photo by 1st Lt. William Reckley
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. John McFarland, a Gulfport, MS native and rifleman with Task Force 61/2.3 Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Europe, applies a training tourniquet to a Gabonese Republican soldier while rehearsing tactical combat casualty care, during Judicious Activation 2023 in Libreville, Gabon, Apr. 27, 2023. Task Force 61/2.3 provides capabilities such as rapid response expeditionary anti-terrorism and security operations in support of Commanders, United States European Command and as directed by Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet in order to protect vital naval and national assets.
TF 61/2 aligns deployed forces under the Naval Amphibious Force commander; deployed amphibious ready groups, Marine Expeditionary Units, Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, Europe, and multi-domain sensing forces. TF 61/2 is deployed in NAVEUR’s area of responsibility, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to support U.S., allied, and partner interests.
For more than 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.