DARWIN, NT, Australia -- U.S. Marines have begun arriving in Darwin, Australia for the eighth iteration of the Marine Rotational Force (MRF) – Darwin initiative. The majority of Marines are scheduled to arrive in Darwin mid-April and will undertake a range of training activities until October. Training activities will include bilateral and multilateral training with the Australian Defence Force and regional allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific.
The majority of Marines will stay at Australian Defence Force facilities in the Darwin area, including Robertson Barracks and Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin. During this rotation, a company of MRF-D Marines will be hosted by the Australian Army 3rd Brigade at Lavarack Barracks in Townsville. Training will occur at various locations throughout Australia and the region, including Kangaroo Flats Training Area, Mount Bundey Training Area, Shoalwater Bay Military Training area, as well as exercises and engagements ashore and afloat throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Key training opportunities will include Indo-Pacific Endeavor, Talisman Saber, Koolendong, and a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise.
Marines from I and III Marine Expeditionary Force will deploy to Australia in the form of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, similar to the size used for a Marine Expeditionary Unit, consisting of a Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Aviation Combat Element, and Logistics Combat Element. The main body of the rotation is comprised of approximately 1,700 Marines and sailors.
Continuity of strong community outreach with the local communities remains a tradition of the U.S. Marines in Darwin. Volunteers from MRF-D look forward to participating regularly in various programs throughout their deployment to give back to the communities where they live and train.
MRF-D is a tangible demonstration of the sustained commitment to the Australia-U.S. alliance and their combined presence in the Indo-Pacific. This iteration will be the most capable to date and will improve interoperability and security cooperation activities, further strengthen alliances and partnerships, enhance regional disaster relief response capabilities, and augment forces that are optimally postured to quickly respond to various crises throughout the region.