The United States plays a leading role in the MFO mission. Over the last
decade, the U.S. contingent was comprised of members of the National
Guard, who serve for one-year terms.
Officials said the peace-keeping troops were trained at bases in the
United States before leaving for Sinai. The next rotation of forces was
scheduled for September 2011 and would include officers from the Missouri
MFO, under the current command of New Zealand, contains more than 2,000
soldiers from 12 nations. The force, established to monitor the military
portions of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty conducts air and ground
Despite rising unrest in Sinai, no attacks have been reported on MFO in
2011. Officials acknowledged that MFO has reduced ground patrols in wake of
Islamic attacks in eastern Sinai several years ago.
For his part, Evans said the U.S. military would base restrictions on
its MFO contingent in proportion to the threat level in Sinai. He said the
threat level would also determine whether U.S. soldiers could travel through
Sinai to either mainland Egypt or Israel.
"Depending on what the threat level is we're allowed to go to some
Evans said. "If we can't, they shut those down and we have to stay put."