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NEWS | April 9, 2024

USINDOPACOM Commander Travels to Australia

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

SYDNEY - Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Canberra and Sydney, Australia from April 7-10, 2024, where he met with senior government and military leaders and participated in think tank forums, demonstrating the solidarity of the U.S.-Australia Alliance.    

Aquilino met with the Hon. Richard Marles MP, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence; Greg Moriarty, Secretary of the Department of Defence; Amb. Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Australia; and Gen. Angus Campbell, Australia Chief of the Defence Force. The discussions focused on enhanced force posture cooperation, increasing interoperability to enhance all-domain cooperation, and expand multilateral exercises across the Indo-Pacific.   

Aquilino also participated in the Australia-U.S. Military Representatives Meeting, which is part of regular cooperation between the two countries on global and regional security and military issues of mutual interest.   

Australia and the U.S. continue to evolve their robust exercise program. This month, U.S. Marines and Sailors traveled to Australia to conduct the 13th annual Marine Rotational Force (MRF) – Darwin 24.3 deployment. The Marine Air Ground Task Force brings approximately 2,000 U.S. Marines and Sailors to Australia’s Northern Territory for a series of exercises and training events alongside the Australian Defence Force.  

While in country, Aquilino presented Campbell with the Legion of Merit, the highest accolade that the U.S. can bestow upon a foreign leader. It is reserved for individuals who have shown exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services, and Campbell was recognized for his role in expanding cooperation in operations and training, directly contributing to Indo-Pacific regional security.

Aquilino spoke at the Lowy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan international policy think tank that aims to provide research and distinct perspectives on international trends while highlighting Australia’s impact in shaping conversations globally.

During the engagement, Aquilino highlighted the strength of partnerships and that each nation should decide their own policies free from coercion.

“Sovereignty of the nations in the region is the critical component of why the rules of law matter,” said Aquilino. “All nations get a choice and what we believe in is freedom for our people, sovereignty for our nations and the ability to have an equal voice as we work toward a peaceful, stable, free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The U.S.-Australia Alliance is an anchor for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. Increased cooperation and military integration have only deepened the strong bilateral relationship through both countries’ shared interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, overflight, and other lawful uses of the sea.

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