The first wave of the 2021 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) has arrived in the Northern Territory.
CAPTION: The first 2021 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin Marines, disembark their charter aircraft at RAAF Base Darwin, Northern Territory. Photo by Petty Officer Peter Thompson.
Around 200 Marines landed in Darwin on Thursday, marking the start of this year’s 10th rotation of MRF-D, which will build to total of around 2200 personnel in Darwin by June.
The United States Marine Corps officers and soldiers will undergo mandatory testing and quarantine in accordance with a COVID-19 risk management plan developed in consultation with the NT Health authorities.
Upon completion of quarantine they will begin a comprehensive range of training activities with the Australian Defence Force, including humanitarian assistance, security operations and high-end live-fire warfighting exercises, including exercise Talisman Sabre, which is (so far) scheduled to proceed.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the ability for this year’s MRF-D to go ahead under challenging global circumstances, was testament to the endurance and adaptability of the Australia-US Alliance.
“This annual rotation demonstrates Australia’s and the United States’ commitment to Indo-Pacific stability and security and are a priority for US Force Posture Initiatives,” Minister Reynolds said.