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NEWS | March 28, 2024

U.S. Marines, Sailors arrive in Darwin for 13th iteration of MRF-D

By Capt. Madison Reynolds, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin

A new group of Marines and Sailors arrived in the Northern Territory to begin the 13th annual iteration of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin.

Led by a California-based Marine infantry regiment for the third year in a row, this year’s 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.

Part of a 25-year agreement made in 2011 by then-President Barack Obama and then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the six-month deployments advance shared security objectives identified in the Australian United States Force Posture Initiatives. The deployment has grown in scale and complexity each year, enhancing our Alliance’s capabilities and ability to work together, and improving our combined capacity to respond to crises and contingencies in the Indo-Pacific region. MRF-D remains a key touchpoint of the Australia-U.S. security Alliance.

“The Marines and Sailors of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin are honored and excited to continue the legacy of cooperation and interoperability with our Australian Defence Force brothers and sisters,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Brian T. Mulvihill, the commanding officer of MRF-D 24.3. “Our strong Alliance contributes to stability in the region and enables the readiness of our forces to respond to any crisis or contingency that arises.”

Participants will conduct operations across a full spectrum of missions including expeditionary operations, geographically distributed communications, non-combatant evacuation operations, embassy reinforcements, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and rapid projection of combat power.

“These rotations not only help build interoperability between the ADF and the U.S., but also serve to increase regional cooperation with partner nations in the Indo-Pacific,” said Australian Navy Capt. Mitchell Livingstone, the commanding officer of Headquarters Northern Command. As in previous rotations, this year’s MRF-D exercise schedule will incorporate security partners from throughout the Pacific Islands and the broader region. Training events will occur throughout Australia and various countries in the region through the end of MRF-D 24.3’s rotation in October.

The Australia-U.S. Alliance is an anchor of peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Our nations share key objectives: increasing combined capabilities, promoting a stable and secure Indo-Pacific region, and strengthening their ability to respond to humanitarian crises, natural disasters, and contingencies.

For questions regarding this release, please contact the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin media team at MRFDMedia@usmc.mil.