The Spanish government has approved an accord to permanently host a U.S. military force that would mainly deal with crises in Africa.
The agreement will allow the U.S. to station up to 3,000 military personnel and 40 aircraft at the Moron air base, located near the city of Seville in southern Spain.
About 800 U.S. troops already are stationed at the base as a result of a 1988 U.S.-Spanish defense accord.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to visit Madrid on Monday to sign an update to that agreement and meet with Spanish officials.
Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters Friday that the larger force is aimed at contributing to the stability of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
U.S. forces have conducted several missions to Africa in recent years, including a deployment to Liberia to help fight the Ebola virus.
The U.S. has only one military base on the continent, in the East African nation of Djibouti.