DARWIN, Australia -- Lieutenant General Steven Rudder, Commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC), visited the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) and the Australian Northern Command on March 25.
“Two-thirds of the Fleet Marine Force operates within the Indo-Pacific, and MRF-D is a critical part of that structure,” said General Rudder, who leads all Marine Corps efforts in the Indo-Pacific theater. “For both of us, this is a very close alliance, and if we have to react somewhere in the world, this formation just might be the team to do it.”
General Rudder, an attack helicopter pilot, visited Darwin on the back end of the Australian Air and Space Power Conference in Canberra, where a multi-national audience explored the future of aviation and space-based defense capabilities.
In Darwin, the MRF-D commanders and staff, along with their Australian counterparts, provided General Rudder with a series of briefs and tours designed to provide him a detailed look at the exercise schedule and the facility improvement initiatives for this year’s rotation.
“Together, with our Australian allies, and alongside our shared regional partners, we’re going to exercise across vast distances, and within extremely challenging terrain,” said Colonel Chris Steele, the commanding officer for MRF-D 22 while sharing his vision for the rotation with the commander of MARFORPAC. “This will posture the team to quickly respond in support of missions ranging from humanitarian assistance to crisis response.”
The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger, offered a related vision in a recent interview. “The Marine Corps is the Crisis Response Force for the country anywhere on the globe. The U.S. military has to be able to operate in great depth. And the Marine Corps’ traditional, unique role is upfront and standing in,” said General Berger. “You're there, side by side, with the partners, with the allies that the U.S. has. You're not leaving them. You're not going back to the rear. You're staying right there, side by side with them.”
For questions regarding this story, please contact the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin media inquiry email address at MRFDMedia@usmc.mil. Imagery from this rotation and previous can be found at dvidshub.net/unit/MRF-D.