Marines leaving Australia after six-month rotation

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From Stripes.com

Marines leaving Australia after six-month rotation

by: Seth Robson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: October 21, 2014

More than 1,100 Marines are headed home after a six-month training rotation in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Marine Rotational Force-Darwin began its departure on Oct. 17, bound for Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Marine Corps Base Hawaii, according to a Marine Corps statement.

During their time in Australia, the Marines were based at Robertson Barracks and Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin. They conducted live-fire and other training that incorporated tanks, artillery, infantry and reconnaissance helicopters, according to the statement.

It was the third rotation in Australia under a program announced by President Barack Obama in 2011.

The Marines have been gradually increasing the number of personnel deployed to Darwin with the goal of sending a 2,500-strong Marine Air Ground Task Force to train in Australia each year from 2016.

Second Lt. Martin Harris, a Marine Corps public affairs officer, said the 2015 rotation will be the same size as this year’s.

robson.seth@stripes.com

Twitter: @SethRobson1