The lead elements of the 2018 Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) will soon begin arriving in the Darwin to prepare for the seventh and largest rotation to date.
The rotation will include 1,587 US Marines, eight MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and an artillery battery of six M777 Howitzers.
Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne welcomed the increased Marine rotation.
“These Initiatives strengthen the ability of Australia and the US to work together, and with regional partners, in the interests of regional stability and security,” Minister Payne said in a statement on Friday.
“During major exercises the rotation will include additional equipment and assets such as AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters, UH-1Y Venom helicopters, F/A-18 Hornet aircraft and MC-130 Hercules aircraft.”
The minister said that since 2012, the MRF-D had been increasing in size and complexity, further enhancing the interoperability and capability of Australian and US forces.
“During the six-month training period, the US Marines are expected to participate in 15 training activities alongside the ADF,” Minister Payne said.
“Other regional nations, including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and many more will also participate in or observe some of these training activities.
“Australia and the US have a longstanding history of working together to promote peace, security and stability across the globe. Australia welcomes opportunities to work with the United States to foster greater cooperation with our regional partners.”
The seventh rotation is expected to complete its training in Darwin just before the onset of the wet season in October.