By Tony Bertuca / September 30, 2014 at 8:25 PM

The Pentagon announced today that U.S. Central Command has established a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force as part of the "new normal" in CENTCOM's area of operations.

"This task force, comprised of approximately 2,300 Marines and several aircraft based throughout the region, will improve CENTCOM's ability to support theater security cooperation events such as exercises as well as respond to contingencies," Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon.

Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla, operations division director at Headquarters Marine Corps, told Inside the Navy on April 7 that a SPMAGTF would be headed to CENTCOM.

Kirby today noted that planning for standing up the SPMAGTF in CENTCOM began in the summer of 2013 and is "therefore, not in response to the ongoing operations in Iraq" or Syria.

"There is no timetable on the duration of this deployment, but ground and aviation units are expected to rotate on a regular schedule," he said.