Despite Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 2020 being cancelled – or at best delayed because of the ongoing restrictions associated with COVID-19, long-lead-time logistics are going ahead as planned.
CAPTION: US Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin load a Humvee at East Wharf, Port Darwin. US Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Natalie Greenwood.
News of MRF-D’s postponement for 2020 was announced by Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds on 30 March and in The Marine Corps Times 10 days earlier.
Yet despite this major disruption to the annual rotation, supplies are still landing by ship at Port Darwin.
The photo above shows advance-party Marines, who were already in Australia before the cancellation, loading a Humvee for road transport to Robertson Barracks.
Regularly scheduled shipments will continue to ensure future rotations are well provisioned and supported in advance of their arrival.
In other news: As of yesterday, the US military as a whole had 999 active cases of COVID-19, plus 552 recovered, 17 hospitalised and one death.
On the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in Guam where the one US military death occurred, 94% of crewmembers have been tested for COVID-19, with 710 total positives and 3872 negative results.
Of the positive results, 42 sailors are listed with active cases, nine of whom are currently hospitalised, none in ICU.