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Members of Marine Corps Rotation Force Darwin prepare to board a KC-130J Super Hercules at Royal Australian Air Force Base, Amberley, Australia, 14 September 2022. (Cameron Hermanet/US Marine Corps)

The Marine Corps this week sees northern Australia, where 2,200 Marines completed a six-month training rotation, as a hub for making an impact in Southeast Asia, according to a former Marine officer.

On Monday, a rotating force led by the 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division-Darwin completed its 11th rotation to the southern continent since 2012, Army spokesman Capt. Joseph DiPietro said Tuesday News. mentioned in the release.

Last month, two MV-22 Ospreys of the 268th Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron departed Australia and are based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. His 6,100-mile island-hopping flight, supported by a KC-130J tanker plane, included stops in Fiji, American Samoa and the Republic of Kiribati.

Darwin is seen as more than just an Australian version of its training ground, the Marine Corps Air and Ground Combat Center in Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif., said in an email Wednesday.

“The Marine Corps now appears to see deployments in Darwin and Australia as hubs for ‘impact’ towards Southeast Asia and the region,” he said.

Marines in hiding this year have trained in every Australian state except Tasmania and worked alongside colleagues in Australia, Indonesia, Japan and East Timor, DiPietro said.

Previously, Marines in rotating units were trained in countries near Australia, such as East Timor and Tonga.

According to Newsham, rotation has a political and psychological dimension.

“This suggests a degree of seriousness and persistence that the Marine Corps and the United States are not necessarily characteristic of U.S. operations in the region,” he said. “And it’s all done with an eye to future battles – if that’s what it takes. In other words, something big is about to happen and everyone knows it.”

Southeast Asia is a potential arena for conflict with China, which has vowed to build bases in disputed areas of the South China Sea and forcefully reunify Taiwan if necessary.

Northern Australia has become an important base of operations for Marines in the region, Newsham said.

“Of course, there should be many other places where Marines (and U.S. forces) are stationed in the Indo-Pacific,” he said. “But it’s not… So Darwin’s importance is magnified.”

This year’s Marine Corps rotation to Darwin was probably the busiest yet, Ross Babbage, Australia’s former undersecretary of defense, said in an email Wednesday.

“I expect rotations to become bigger and more substantial in the future. [U.S. Air Force and Navy] And perhaps US military operations in and around Australia in the years to come.

During Exercise Coolendon in July and August, Marines used U.S. Army logistic support ships and MV-22s to transport troops and vehicles 650 miles from Darwin to Broome, 1,000 miles north of Perth, Western Australia. I moved it.

Over the past six months, Marines have practiced littoral combat and sea denial tactics on islands in northern Australia, including the Tiwi Islands in the Timor Sea and South Goulburn Island in the Arafura Sea, DiPietro said in a news release.

They also worked out at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Jungle Training Center in Taree, Queensland and Yampi Sound Training Area in Western Australia, he said.

“Throughout training, Marines learned a lot about the Indo-Pacific fieldcraft, which allowed them to adapt to higher temperatures, moist air and increased vegetation,” DiPietro said.

Carlyle Thayer, Professor Emeritus at the University of New South Wales and Lecturer at the Australian Defense Force Academy, advanced base exercises for the expedition to capture and hold South Goulburn Island in the Arafura Sea in August and September. was included in the rotation.

“The task of the strike force was to install low-altitude air defense systems and carry out area denial,” he said in an email Wednesday.

Next year’s rotation is set to begin in March and will include training on sea lane ambushes and sea denials of enemy warships, Thayer said.

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