US Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) 2020 has completed a successful if curtailed ninth rotation in Australia.
CAPTION: US Marines and sailors with Ground Combat Element, MRF-D, engage in casualty evacuation drills during Exercise Koolendong in Northern Territory, Australia. US Marine Corps photo by Corporal Sarah Marshall.
MRF-D departed the Northern Territory after successfully undertaking a range of exercises, which strengthened cooperation and interoperability with the Australian Defence Force.
US Marines arrived in a staggered groups and completed a mandatory 14-day quarantine before starting their training and, were tested for COVID-19 on entry to Australia and a second time before exiting quarantine.
The rotation achieved significant joint-training objectives and outcomes.
Exercise Loobye, the first key activity (reported but not named), saw US Air Force B-1 and B-2 bombers integrate with the Australian Army and the MRF-D in a highly advanced training activity, allowing both Australian and US forces the opportunity to practice cooperative skills.
Exercise Koolendong – reputedly the most complex ever – progressed to high-end live-fire training, designed to build interoperability in support of the ADF and US Marines’ ability to respond to a range of crises in our region.
The modified MRF-D operated between June and October 2020 reached an approximate size of 1100 personnel.
Planning is underway for the next year’s MRF-D, which will mark its 10th year.
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