ROBERTSON BARRACKS, NORTHERN TERRITORY, Australia – Approximately 200 Marines with the Marine rotational force in Darwin returned to Australia June 26 and 27 to continue training with the Australian Defence Force. The Marines first arrived in Australia on April 3, 2012, following the force posture initiative announced by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and U.S. President Barack Obama, November 16, 2011.
Since departing Australia in mid-May, the Marines of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, who form the inaugural Marine rotational force, participated in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) with defense forces of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. CARAT is an annual series of bilateral training exercises designed to enhance maritime security capabilities and operational cohesiveness among participating forces.
Land-based training with these regional partners ranged from small-unit infantry exercises, jungle survival training, martial arts and cultural exchanges to humanitarian assistance and community relations activities. Company F also conducted amphibious assaults with both the Thai and Indonesian Marine Corps from amphibious shipping in order to employ tactics, techniques and procedures within a littoral environment.
During the remaining months of its deployment in Darwin, the Marine rotational force will conduct bilateral martial arts training, small unit operations, and other combat training with various supporting elements, all in close cooperation with the Australian Army’s 1st Brigade, based at Robertson Barracks.
The Marine rotational force is expected to depart Australia in late September 2012.