More than 1,200 highly-trained U.S. Marines and 13 powerful military aircrafts have touched down in Darwin Airport in Australia ‘ready to fight’ against North Korea should the situation escalate.
Commanding Officer of Marine Rotational Force Darwin, Lieutenant Colonel Brian S. Middleton, says the 1250 US Marine deployment to Darwin stands ready to fight if tensions between his country and North Korea escalate into direct conflict.
According to report, the 13 aircraft includes tilt-rotor Ospreys, Super Cobra helicopters and Huey helicopters, triple the four aircraft in past deployments, was a ‘tangible kind of sign of our commitment to the region and to this partnership’.
The 25-year annual deployment program started by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2011 is part of the U.S. ‘pivot’ to Asia at a time of increased assertiveness by China.
The strength of this year’s deployment at 1,250 troops lags well behind the initial plan for the deployment to reach 2,500 Marines this year, but it will see the largest U.S. aircraft contingent to Australia in peacetime history.
The marines are from 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment from Camp Pendleton, California. They will be based at Robertson Barracks, RAAF Base Darwin and Defence Establishment Berrimah.