The US Marine Corps has started arriving in Darwin for its fifth rotation through northern Australia, with this year’s rotation including about 1,250 marines and four Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters.
“During the six-month rotation, the US marines will participate in a number of activities and exercises with the Australian Defence Force throughout Australia and across parts of the Asia-Pacific region,” Defence said in a statement.
“These rotations provide excellent training benefits for both forces, and present a unique opportunity for the Australian Defence Force and the US marines to train together, preparing them for the types of operations they are conducting together in the Middle East.
“Through the force posture initiatives, both Australia and the US intend to increase practical cooperation with other countries in the region. This year, the US marines and Australian soldiers will conduct a range of training activities that include military forces from both Japan and China, and provide opportunities to engage with other partners in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The four helicopters from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 out of the Marine Corps Air Station at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, will be based at RAAF Base Darwin, the Marine Corps Times reported.
It is anticipated that ultimately the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin will represent a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) of about 2,500 personnel equipped with a variety of aircraft, vehicles and equipment, conducting annual six-month rotations.