The Department of Defense has confirmed that thousands of US marines will begin arriving in the Northern Territory within days as part of an annual training rotation.
From the United States, Approx 2,200 marines will arrive in Darwin between now and June this year. It will come in batches of 200 to 500 marines. The Department of Defense also confirmed that each marine would have to do a COVID test within 72 hours of their flight and show the result must be negative before boarding the plane to Australia. And when they come to the Northern Territory, they will be undergone to one more coronavirus test and then undertake a quarantine of two weeks. Nobody can leave quarantine before a COVID-19 test.
For most US arrivals, the Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D) unit has lent a safe facility outside the NT capital to serve the quarantine’s large group. However, the first two groups will quarantine in isolated accommodation on the Australian Defence base.
Earlier in the year 2021, a Darwin CBD hotel was used as a quarantine facility for international military arrivals. But it was subjected to important criticism from health groups, including the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT and the Australian Medical Association.
Defense Minister Linda Reynolds confirmed the use of the Defense base and leased facility would assure the marines’ arrival had no influence on repatriating Australians from abroad, which was a national preference for the Australian Government.
Ms Reynolds said, “on the conclusion of last year’s diminished deployment, the rotation would increase.” Due to pandemic in 2020, the marines’ annual rotation got postpone, and a modified rotation of approximately 1,200 roughly half the usual numbers trained in the Northern Territory.
Ms Reynolds said, “the experience for this year’s MRF-D to go forward under dangerous global conditions is a testament to the strength and adaptability of the Australia-US Alliance.”
MRF-D Commanding Officer Colonel David Banning said the alliance between Australia and the US is “outstanding.”
He said, “we are delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary with two interoperable and competent forces that promote our shared goals, show the endurance and strength of our alliance, and add to regional security.”
In the Northern Territory, the Australian Defense Force (ADF) and the US marines will do training, including high-end live-fire exercises and security operations.