MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from Marine Corps Base Hawaii take off from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, April 28, 2023.

MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from Marine Corps Base Hawaii take off from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, April 28, 2023. (Ryan Hageali/U.S. Marine Corps)

Ten Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys have arrived in Australia’s Northern Territory as part of a 2,500-strong rotational force, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

The Ospreys, from Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363, are deployed to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, according to a Marine Corps statement and information released Friday by the U.S. Department of Defense with photographs of the aircraft.

The tiltrotors, air crew and support personnel make up the air combat element of Marine Rotational Force — Darwin, which began its annual seven-month rotation last month.

Ospreys, which take off and land like helicopters but can fly like planes, have supported rotational Marines in the Northern Territory since 2017.

This year’s rotation includes a command element from the 1st Marine Regiment overseeing 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and Combat Logistics Battalion 1. All are based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., a spokesman for the rotational force, Maj. Matthew Wolf, said by email March 24.

The Ospreys are supported by a detachment from the Kaneohe Bay-based Marine Wing Support Squadron 174, according to the Marine Corps statement.

“We are honoured to extend the legacy of the Australia-U.S. Alliance, working side-by-side with our ADF (Australian Defence Force) Allies to provide a ready force for contingency and crisis response in the region,” Marine Corps Col. Brendan Sullivan, commander of the rotational force, said in the statement. “Our team is postured and ready to advance shared goals, demonstrate the strength and endurance of our Alliance, and contribute to regional security and partnerships.”

Activities the Marines and sailors will carry out with their Australian counterparts prepare them to respond quickly to a regional crisis or contingency or to provide for humanitarian assistance or disaster response, according to the statement.

The 12th contingent of the rotational force since 2012 will practice expeditionary operations, geographically distributed communications, non-combatant evacuation, embassy reinforcement, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and rapid projection of combat power, the statement said.

They are expected to train in the Northern Territory and other Australian states with troops from friendly nations throughout the Pacific through the end of the rotation in October.

The Marines will participate in the biennial Talisman Sabre exercise in July, Wolf said in March.

That exercise, scheduled to involve 30,000 U.S. and Australian personnel, will run from July 22 to Aug. 4, according to an April 16 statement by Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles’ office.

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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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