First wave of US Marines bound for Australia
By Published: April 3, 2012
Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith is scheduled Wednesday to formally welcome the first contingent of U.S. Marines at a ceremony outside of Darwin, according to The Australian newspaper.
The Marines are members of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and as many as 250 were to have arrived Tuesday, The Australian reported. The element represents the vanguard of a 2,500-strong force expected to deploy to Australia as part of a recent bilateral agreement announced in November.
Under the agreement, Marines would rotate to Darwin, located in the sparsely populated Northern Territory of Australia, for six months at a time. The plan is to expand the company-size element to a battalion-strength group of roughly a 1,000 Marines by 2014. The outfit will evenutally grow to a 2,500 air-ground task force by 2016
The mayor of Darwin, the territory's capital city, said in The Australian article that residents are accustom to seeing military personnel in the area. Robertson Barracks, the host of Wednesday's ceremony, is situated in the suburb of Holtze in the municipality of Litchfield.
"There is some trepidation by some people," The Australian quoted Darwin Mayor Katrina Fong Lim as saying, "but generally speaking I think the mood is people are really looking forward to it."
Source: The Australian
The first wave of 250 U.S. Marines are expected to arrive in Darwin this week, The Australian newspaper reported April 3, 2012. In this picture, Marines with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Expeditionary Unit, secure Freshwater Beach during an amphibious assault exercise. The training was part of the Talisman Sabre 2011 exercise.
GARRY J. WELCH/U.S. MARINE CORPS