The first company-sized rotation of approximately 200 United States Marines Corps personnel have been officially welcomed to Darwin, with a ceremony at Robertson Barracks.
This initial Marine Corps rotation arrived in Darwin on 3 April, as part of the enhanced Australia‑US defence cooperation announced in November last year by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and United States President Barack Obama.
US Marine Corps personnel will deploy to northern Australia on a rotational basis for around six months per year.
In the future, up to 2500 Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) personnel will rotate into Australia during the northern dry season.
A full MAGTF includes a Command Element, Ground Element, Aviation Element and Logistics Element. Major equipment to support the elements of the MAGTF includes wheeled vehicles, artillery pieces, light armoured vehicles and aircraft, in addition to personnel.
Heavy equipment, vehicles and aircraft are not included in the first rotation.
During the six-month deployment, the US Marine Corps will spend two or three months in Australia, mainly in Australian Defence Force training areas and ranges. The remaining time will be spent engaging with partners in the region.
The US Marine Corps will use existing Defence facilities in northern Australia for accommodation and training. Defence will provide a range of support to this initial rotation and costs for this rotation will be shared under existing legal, financial and logistical arrangements.