The latest Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) has departed the Northern Territory after completing training and high-end exercises aimed at strengthening cooperation between the ADF and the US Marine Corps.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this year’s rotation represented the largest and most capable deployment to date.
“This rotation consisted of an initial base force of around 1,700 personnel, and reached the milestone of 2,500 Marines with additional Marines arriving in Darwin between July and September,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI), of which the Marine Rotational Force - Darwin is a key component, demonstrates the strength of the Australia-US alliance and our deep engagement with the Indo-Pacific region.”
In a statement, Defence said future MRF-D rotations will focus on increasing regional engagement, deepening interoperability between the ADF and the US Marine Corps, as well as positioning the ADF to respond to crises including humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
To support USFPI activities, Australia and the US will invest around $2 billion on aircraft maintenance, support facilities, fuel storage, accommodation upgrades and upgrades to training areas and ranges.
Senator for the NT Dr Sam McMahon said the USFPI continues to provide significant economic benefits for the Top End.
“Around $8 billion will be invested over the next decade in new and upgraded facilities in the Northern Territory,” Senator McMahon said.
News of the departure comes just before ADM's Northern Australia Defence Summit, which kicks off tomorrow at the Darwin Convention Centre.