More than 1,100 Marines are headed home after a six-month training rotation in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Marine Rotational Force-Darwin began its departure on Oct. 17, bound for Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Corps Base Hawaii, according to a Marine Corps statement.

During their time in Australia, the Marines were based at Robertson Barracks and Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin. They conducted live-fire and other training that incorporated tanks, artillery, infantry and reconnaissance helicopters, according to the statement.

It was the third rotation in Australia under a program announced by President Barack Obama in 2011.

The Marines have been gradually increasing the number of personnel deployed to Darwin with the goal of sending a 2,500-strong Marine Air Ground Task Force to train in Australia each year from 2016.

Second Lt. Martin Harris, a Marine Corps public affairs officer, said the 2015 rotation will be the same size as this year’s.


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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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