The eighth rotation of the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) is set to begin, after the arrival of US Marine Corps personnel in the Northern Territory.
Over the next six months, MRF-D will take part in several training exercises alongside the Australian Defence Force, including a new Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) activity.
“The United States presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is strongly supported by Australia, is an essential element in preserving stability and security in the region,” Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said.
“The new Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response exercise will better position both nations to respond to crises in the region."
The main body of the rotation includes 1,700 Marines, and also features Aviation Combat Elements including MV-22 Ospreys and UH/AH-1 helicopters, which provides the "opportunity to deepen interoperability with the ADF".
“The Marine Rotational Force-Darwin provides important opportunities to enhance engagement with regional partners. This year, many regional allies and partners will participate in or observe some of these training activities,” Minister Pyne said.
“This work forms an important part of the Morrison government’s $20 billion defence infrastructure investment in the Northern Territory, as set out in the 2016 Defence White Paper. Under our Local Industry Capability Plans, Territory businesses, contractors and workers are securing much of this work."
In addition to training with the Marines, the ADF will also participate in air training exercises with US force elements as part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) initiative.
This year's EAC activities include fifth-generation fighter integration, aero-medical evacuation training and integrated aircraft maintenance activities.
The Marines are expected to finish up the rotation of training in Australia in October.