DARWIN, AUSTRALIA. -- Major General Roger Turner, Commanding General of the First Marine Division, visited the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) and the Australian First Brigade on April 21.
“At First Marine Division, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and many of those giants are the Australians and Americans who fought together and won together as part of the Blue Diamond’s success,” said General Turner, who leads the premier warfighting division of the Marine Corps. “5th Marines is progressing MRF-D faster than anyone expected, especially with regard to ‘fight tonight’ capabilities, and now they are featured prominently in the security of the Indo-Pacific.”
Australia and the First Marine Division maintain deep roots, notably dating back to operations during World War II. Throughout the Guadalcanal Campaign, Australia provided critical intelligence during the opening days of combat, and continued to provide operational and logistical support across the grueling six month campaign. Following Guadalcanal, Australia hosted the First Marine Division in order to re-arm and re-fit the force. The First Marine Division maintains the Southern Cross as part of its crest, and Waltzing Matilda as the division song, both testaments to the division’s enduring bond with the people of Australia.
“I spent the majority of my career in the Blue Diamond, so to be here in Australia where the division first made its mark on the world is special,” said Master Gunnery Sergeant Robert Robinson, the operations chief for MRF-D 22. “General Turner’s visit was a symbolic event reinforcing the combined history of two great nations and the bond we built over so many years.”
In honor of the storied relationship, Colonel Chris Steele, the commanding officer of MRF-D 22, presented tokens to both General Turner and the commander of Australia’s First Brigade, Brigadier Nick Foxall. The tokens featured a boomerang, a symbol commonly found in ADF unit crests, as a representation of unity and brotherhood with MRF-D’s primary Australian partner.
“MRF-D’s recognition of the boomerang is important to us, because one of the most critical parts of a boomerang is the ability to come back,” Brigadier Foxall proudly announced to ADF Soldiers and MRF-D Marines. “We’re proud to host the Marines in the Northern Territory, and we always look forward to MRF-D and now the Blue Diamond coming back here.”
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.