U.S. Signs 25-Year Military Pact with Australia

Marines with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin load into an MV-22B Osprey during Exercise Koolendong at Bradshaw Training Field Area, Northern Territories, Australia.

Marine Rotational Force Darwin by Sgt. Sarah Flocco

AA Font size + Print

Marines with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin load into an MV-22B Osprey during Exercise Koolendong at Bradshaw Training Field Area, Northern Territories, Australia.

Australia will train with U.S. troops based on its northern coast for the better part of the first half of this century. By Ben Watson

The United States and Australia finalized a 25-year deal to more than double the number of American troops training with their Aussie counterparts in a significant step forward for the Obama administration’s contentious “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S.-Australia Force Posture Agreement on Tuesday in Sydney alongside Australian Defense Minister David Johnston and Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.

The agreement includes a substantial commitment of U.S. troops based near the northern city of Darwin.

“This long-term agreement on rotational deployment of U.S. Marines in Darwin and American airmen in northern Australia will broaden and deepen our alliance’s contributions to regional security and advance America’s ongoing strategic rebalance in the Asia Pacific,” Hagel said. “The U.S.-Australia alliance is spurring this progress and will remain a bedrock for a stable and secure order.”

 (RELATED: Can the U.S. Military Really ‘Pivot’ to Asia?)

There are now approximately 1,200 U.S. Marines and Air Force personnel training with Australian troops for humanitarian and disaster relief missions, Johnston said. “That, ladies and gentlemen, is going very seamlessly, very well, and it is a classic win-win situation.”

The partnership raises the number of U.S. troops in Australia to 2,500, according to Adm. Sam Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. Their primary focus will be humanitarian disaster relief similar to the response in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that affected nearly 14 million people in the Philippines last year. That disaster summoned aid from nearly every corner of the globe, and signaled China’s rise as a humanitarian force in the Asia-Pacific.

President Barack Obama’s promise to focus on this fastest-growing economic region is now three years in the making—and has had no shortage of critics along the way, especially given the myriad of flareups in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. But despite varied dissent about how much budgetary constraints will limit the rebalance, U.S. officials have nevertheless been able to forge military agreements with Japan, Guam, the Philippines and now this new deal in Sydney.  

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • GBC Issue Brief: Supply Chain Insecurity

    Federal organizations rely on state-of-the-art IT tools and systems to deliver services efficiently and effectively, and it takes a vast ecosystem of organizations, individuals, information, and resources to successfully deliver these products. This issue brief discusses the current threats to the vulnerable supply chain - and how agencies can prevent these threats to produce a more secure IT supply chain process.

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.