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US Marines begin departure from Australia

A United States Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter refuels at the Forward Arming and Refuelling Point at Mount Bundey Training Area during Exercise Talisman Saber 17.

A US Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter. (Defence)

The 2017 Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) has started departing from Darwin at the end of the sixth rotation of US Marines through northern Australia under the United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI).

The rotation involved 1,250 Marines and an Aviation Combat Element (ACE) consisting of 13 aircraft: four MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and five AH-1W Super Cobra and four UH-1Y Venom helicopters.

“This year’s rotation was a significant milestone for the USFPI program, and the advanced MRF-D ‘17 Marine Air-Ground Task Force was a clear demonstration of the ongoing commitment Australia and the US have to achieving the objectives of the Force Posture Initiatives,” said Captain Bryan Parker, Deputy Commander of Northern Command.

“Throughout this rotation we saw increased capability and flexibility of the MRF-D and the Australian Defence Force to operate together on a broad range of combined exercises and training activities.”

Members of the United States Marine Corps from Marine Rotational Force - Darwin 2017, prepare to board an awaiting aircraft at RAAF Base Darwin, Air Movements Section as they depart Darwin for the final time.

Marines at RAAF Base Darwin. (Defence)