The first group of about 200 US marines has arrived at RAAF Base Darwin as part of the ninth Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D).
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said their arrival was the result of extensive planning and coordination to address challenges posed by COVID-19.
“MRF-D is an important initiative that deepens interoperability between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the US military,” Senator Reynolds said.
“Australia’s Alliance with the United States is our most important Defence relationship. It sends a clear signal about our commitment to the security and stability of our region.
“The fact that we were able to modify MRF-D and mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 to allow it to proceed is a strong testament of the resilience of our alliance.”
All marines were biosecurity screened and COVID-19 tested on arrival ahead of a 14-day quarantine at Defence facilities in Darwin.
The marines will be tested again for COVID-19 before exiting quarantine.
MRF-D will grow to 1200 personnel over the next eight weeks and will train through to September.
The rotation will finish with the signature MRF-D/ADF bilateral high-end warfighting activity, Exercise Koolendong.
The marines will then return to Japan and the United States.