Home Asia Pacific US marines conclude 8-month stay in Australia as part of MRF-D deployment

US marines conclude 8-month stay in Australia as part of MRF-D deployment

MRF- D 2021
US marines conduct a movement with an Australian M113 AS4 armored personnel carrier at Bradshaw Field Training Area, NT, Australia, Aug. 25, 2021. Photo: US Marine Corps

The 2021 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin has departed from the Northern Territory, concluding the tenth rotation of US marines through Australia’s Top End.

This year’s rotation coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Australia, New Zealand, and United States (ANZUS) treaty.

This year, approximately 2,200 US marines and sailors, who started arriving in Australia in February, conducted a comprehensive range of training activities, including humanitarian assistance, security operations and high-end, live-fire exercises.

Combined exercises such as Crocodile Response, Southern Jackaroo, Loobye, and Koolendong demonstrated military interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and ADF, as well as with regional partners.

“Our alliance with the United States is our most important defense relationship,” said Australian Army Colonel Marcus Constable, commander of Headquarters Northern Command.

“The alliance is the cornerstone of Australian security and together we are committed to ensuring a secure, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific. MRF-D is a reflection of the close cooperation between the ADF, United States Marine Corps and the Northern Territory government.”

“MRF-D is a highly capable force, prepared to operate with our Australian partners,” noted U.S Marine Colonel David Banning, MRF-D commanding officer.

“Being able to continue MRF-D rotations while making the necessary adjustments to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the alliance relationship and the discipline of our forces.”

The Marines will return to the Northern Territory in 2022, as part of the 25-year commitment established by the US Force Posture Initiatives.

“We look forward to next year’s MRF-D rotation, and the opportunity to continue to deepen our ties with our Australian partners and engage with regional partners in the Indo-Pacific,” said Col. Banning.

MRF-D is one of two of the United States Force Posture Initiatives alongside an expanded program of Enhanced Air Cooperation between the Royal Australian Air Force and United States Air Force.