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Egypt Crisis Has Marines In Italy And Spain On Alert

Photo credit: USMC

Two Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response avionics technicians perform routine maintenance on a MV-22 Osprey aboard Moron Air Base, May 9, 2013.

As Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi digs in his heels despite calls for him to step down, roughly 500 U.S. Marines deployed to Italy and Spain are poised to react if their presence is needed to calm the brewing violence in the North African country, according to Stars and Stripes.

Pentagon spokesman told reporters the Marines were ready, if needed, to respond to a crisis in the region:

“We have taken steps to ensure our military is ready to respond to a range of contingencies."

CNN reports that 200 of the Marines in Italy and Spain are poised to be airborne within an hour of getting orders to deploy to Egypt:

The units have several V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft that would carry troops and infantry weapons to Egypt to protect the U.S. Embassy and American government personnel and citizens if violence broke out against Americans.

The Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response team now in Italy and Spain is assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

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