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    Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 2014 begins to arrive Down Under

    Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 2014 begins to arrive Down Under

    Photo By Sgt. James Gulliver | Staff Sgt. Joel Ellis, crewmaster, Aviation Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. James Gulliver 

    Marine Rotational Force Darwin

    ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE’S BASE DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia – The loud roar of four turbofan engines from a C-17 Globemaster cargo plane could be heard across the open airfield, as Soldiers with the Australian Army waited in anticipation for the arrival of the U.S. Marines. As the fully loaded C-17 landed, weighing more than 150,000 pounds, the Marines inside prepared to disembark on the first stage of their deployment.

    After the C-17 landed, the Marines unloaded supplies and equipment designed to support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) at Royal Australian Air Force’s Base Darwin, March 26.

    Marine Rotational Force – Darwin is a tangible demonstration of the United States’ sustained commitment to the U.S. – Australia alliance and to the Asia-Pacific region. The upon the positive outcome of the previous rotational forces.

    “MRF-D is composed of three elements: the ground combat element, logistics element and aviation combat element,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Puglisi, officer-in-charge, forward coordination element Darwin. “The main objective is to conduct interoperability training with the Australian Defence Forces.”

    This is the first time MRF-D has had the capabilities of a full MAGTF, giving unique training opportunities to both the Marines and Australians, said Maj. William Heiken, the detachment commander of aviation combat element, MRF-D.

    “We really gain a lot of high level experience operating with the Marines,” said Commodore Brenton Smyth, a commander in the Royal Australian Navy. “Our ability to work together increases every time we get these opportunities in an operational environment.”

    The Australians are excited to work with the Marines and are eager to learn as much as they can from their allies, Smyth said.

    The Marines will be conducting jungle survival training, bilateral training, small unit operations and other combat training with various supporting elements, all in close cooperation with the Australian Army.

    “The Marines have a very aggressive training schedule lined up for them,” said Puglisi, a native of Philadelphia. “They will be conducting multiple large scale operations not only with the Australian Army but possibly defense forces from other countries as well.”

    The Marine rotational force also will continue to build community sentiment toward the Marine Corps and increase U.S. and Australian relationship beyond purely military issues.

    “One of the things we always do when we are overseas is developing our relationship with the local community,” Puglisi said. “We are going to increase our mentorship in some of the local schools and be undertaking a joint-engineering project in the local city of Palmerston.”

    The Marines plan to come away from the deployment with multiple training experiences, a wealth knowledge on jungle warfare and knowing they had a positive impact on the surrounding communities.



    Date Taken: 03.25.2014
    Date Posted: 03.28.2014 00:35
    Story ID: 122935
    Location: DARWIN, NT, AU 

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