The 1250 members of the 2016 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) have begun their homeward journeys following a busy six months in Australia.
Deputy Commander Northern Command Colonel Brian Bailey said Australian Defence Force personnel from the Top End and further afield had gained valuable knowledge from their bilateral training with the 2016 rotation of Marines.
“This fifth rotation of Marines to Northern Australia marked several key milestones in the ongoing development of the US Force Posture Initiatives, which provides invaluable opportunities for Australia, the United States and indeed regional partners to effectively work together,” Colonel Bailey said.
“The 2016 rotation saw key engagement with the Australian Defence Force in the Top End, but new milestones included the Marines participating in Exercise HAMEL, our largest Army training exercise.
“We also had a company of Marines embarking in HMAS Adelaide, one of the Navy’s newest amphibious ships, for a key sealift between Brisbane and Adelaide.
“These opportunities were invaluable in developing skills, knowledge and interoperability both in land warfare and amphibious environments.”
Most of the Marines came from the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton in California and were accommodated at Robertson Barracks and Larrakeyah Barracks.
A detachment of four UH-1Y Venom ground support helicopters from Hawaii, participated in the rotation and were accommodated at RAAF Base Darwin.
The Marines also brought more than 100 vehicles and a range of other equipment with them.
Activities conducted by the Marines included bilateral training with the Australian Defence Force, multilateral training with the defence forces of Australia, China, France and Japan.
In a related recent announcement, Defence Minister Marise Payne said Australia and the US would share the costs for more than $2 billion in infrastructure investment in northern Australia as well as the ongoing costs of hosting the Marine Rotational Force in Darwin over the full 25 year life of the agreement.
For further information on the MRF-D Rotations, please visit https://www.defence.gov.au/usfpi