CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The first detachment of 200 U.S. Marines has arrived in northern Australia where a permanent joint training hub is taking shape as part of a U.S. shift of military strength in the Asia-Pacific region.
In November, the United States and Australia announced plans to send more U.S. military aircraft to Australia and to rotate up to 2,500 Marines through the northern city of Darwin to better protect American interests across Asia.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement the first 200 had arrived in Darwin late Tuesday from Hawaii.
She says the initial six-month rotation of an infantry company will not include heavy equipment, vehicles or aircraft. She says air and sea movements in support of this rotation will be minimal.