Story by 1st Lieutenant Sarah Rhodes
Photo by Lance Corporal Osvaldo Ortega
TASMAN SEA – U.S. Marines and sailors from Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, embarked on the Royal Australian Navy’s Amphibious Assault Ship, Landing Helicopter Dock, HMAS Adelaide (LHD 01), at Port of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on June 16, 2016.
CAPTION: U.S. Marines receive a welcome aboard booklet on HMAS Adelaide at Port of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, June 16, 2016. This marks the first time Marines and sailors from Marine Rotational Force – Darwin have embarked in such numbers on an Australian ship. This opportunity allows for MRF-D to expand the partnership capabilities with our Australian allies.
Marines and sailors, along with their equipment and a small number of vehicles, will arrive in Adelaide to participate in Exercise Hamel, alongside members of the Australian Army and U.S. Army.
Approximately 180 Marines and sailors of MRF-D embarked, marking the first time this size of U.S. Marines have been aboard an Australian vessel since roughly World War II.
Captain Christopher S. Brock, Commanding Officer Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment said this embarkation was a key milestone for not only the Marines and sailors of Alpha Company but the Corps as a whole as it increased proficiency in amphibious capabilities.
“And we have the chance to expand our relationships with the Australian Defence Force,” Captain Brock said.
Captain Paul Mandziy, Commanding Officer of HMAS Adelaide, said more than 1000 personnel were now aboard his ship – the largest embarkation of troops the Adelaide has seen since its commissioning on December 4, 2015.
“This multi-national embarkation allows us to improve our ability to operate with our partner nations,” Captain Mandziy said.
“Lots of planning and coordination takes place with such a large number on board, serving more than 3000 meals a day.”
While aboard, Marines and sailors will participate in several ship’s activities, from observing Colors, eating and living together, and competing in several physical training events, to strengthen partnerships.
Corporal Colin M. Stokes, team leader of 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company A, said they competed in a friendly spin competition.
“I was behind at first, but seeing the Aussies next to me working hard pushed me to want to pass them.” Corporal Stokes, from Springfield, Illinois, said.
After arriving in Adelaide, South Australia, the Marines of Company A will meet with an additional 500 Marines and sailors of MRF-D to conduct Exercise Hamel, a bi-lateral, non-live fire, force-on-force exercise.
This press release from the US Marines contrasts vividly with that supplied by the ADF on the same topic, which we published under the headline
US Marines embark on HMAS Adelaide – CONTACT editor vomits