U.S. Sends 1,100 Marines to Australia, Reassures China It Isn't a Threat
The U.S. has scheduled 1,150 Marines to move to Darwin, Australia in April, as part of a “rebalancing” of the Asia-America axis. This move is adding to the 200 that are already there.
The plan is to eventually have up to 2,500 US Marines in Australia by 2016-2017, but because Beijing was angry in 2011 when they heard about the deployment, U.S. officials have stressed not only that no permanent American base is being set up in Australia, but also that the Marines will only be in Darwin for roughly six-month stints.
The Marines will come from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton in California. The troops will be accompanied by four CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters with 100 personnel to handle them. Marine spokesman Colonel Brad Bartelt said, "These deployments are a tangible demonstration of the United States’ sustained commitment to the US-Australia alliance and to the Asia-Pacific region. They enhance security cooperation, disaster response capabilities, interoperability and enable us to train with our partners to develop and maintain our readiness.”
China may have been inflamed in November, 2012 when the American military placed a powerful radar and space telescope in Australia.