• Defence

United States Marines have arrived in the Northern Territory as part of the 13th rotation of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D).

The United States is Australia’s principal strategic partner and cooperation between our two countries is central to achieving stability and prosperity within our region.

During the eight-month rotation, United States Marines will conduct combined training exercises across a number of scenarios with ADF personnel.

Since its first rotation in 2012, MRF-D has grown in size and complexity. Nations including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have either taken part in or observed MRF-D training.

The 2024 MRF-D rotation will continue to enhance the capabilities, interoperability and readiness of the ADF and the United States Marine Corps, alongside our partners, and is a significant part of Australia’s force posture cooperation with the United States.


“The arrival of the 13th Marine Rotational Force – Darwin to Australia demonstrates the strength of our alliance with the United States, and highlights our joint commitment to promoting a secure, stable and inclusive Indo-Pacific," Defence Minister Richard Marles said.

“For more than 12 years, US Marine rotations have demonstrated the importance of enhancing the capability and interoperability of both nations through joint exercises and activities, and in 2024 we will continue to build on this capability."

The United States Marines will remain in Australia until October 2024.


“The marines and sailors of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin are honoured and excited to continue the legacy of cooperation and interoperability with our Australian Defence Force brothers and sisters,” added Colonel Brian Milvihill, Commanding Officer MRF-D.

“Our strong alliance contributes to stability in the region and makes all our forces more ready to respond to any crisis or contingency that arises.”

Commanding Officer of HQ Northern Command Captain Mitchell Livingstone said that over the next eight months, the ADF and USMC will conduct a comprehensive range of training activities, including humanitarian assistance, security operations, and live-fire exercises.

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