• Marine Rotational Force - Darwin depart for home after completing a busy rotation in the Top End.
    Marine Rotational Force - Darwin depart for home after completing a busy rotation in the Top End.

The second rotation of 200 US Marines departed Darwin for Hawaii after a six month deployment to Australia’s Northern Territory.

During this time, the Hawaii-based Marines conducted bilateral training with the ADF and their own Marine-specific training.

Commander 1st Brigade Brigadier John Frewen said Australia and the US valued the opportunity to learn from each other.

“The second iteration of the US Marine Rotational Force – Darwin has been highly successful in fostering cooperation and inter-operability between our two militaries,” he said.

“Building on the achievements of the first rotation, this rotation of US Marines worked more closely with troops from 5 RAR, pushed their training further afield – including into the Bradshaw Field Training Area for the first time – and developed close ties to the Darwin community.

“Whether in training, in the messes or on the sports fields, the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin have enhanced their reputation in Australia and we look forward to their return in larger numbers next year.”

The ADF and the Marines worked together in a number of small-scale exercises and also last month’s Exercise Koolendong at Bradshaw, south-west of Darwin.

This provided an opportunity for about 800 US and Australian personnel to conduct a live-fire exercise in a remote and austere training environment.

The Marines also participated in exercises in NZ and Tonga, and participated in an Australia-Indonesia humanitarian assistance and disaster relief tabletop exercise held in Darwin.

The US Marine Corps six-month rotations through northern Australia will increase to around 1150 personnel from 2014.

The majority of the Marines will be accommodated at Robertson Barracks, with a smaller aviation support contingent of around 130 personnel at RAAF Darwin, along with four heavy lift helicopters.

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