Two Top End military aircraft experienced in-flight issues within 24 hours

TWO military aircraft experienced mid-flight malfunctions over Top End skies within 24 hours of each other.

A Royal Australian Air Force spokeswoman said a C130 aircraft a USAF F-16 fighter jet were involved in separate incidents on Monday and Tuesday.

She said a C130 aircraft was returning to Darwin at 5.35pm on Monday when an engine “malfunctioned”, but the aircraft was able to land safely without incident.

The next day the USAF F-16 aircraft experienced an in-flight emergency and was forced to return to the base early ending its flight.

“The aircraft dumped fuel in accordance with normal procedures. The aircraft landed safely using the cable at approximately 9.10pm

Exercise Diamond Storm began in late April and runs until May 29 with aircraft operating out of RAAF Bases Tindal and Darwin. According to the RAAF, the exercise is the final phase of the Air Warfare Instructor Course, a three phase intensive six-month course that integrates war fighting functions across a range of specialisations.

Survey finds that US Marines are welcome in Australia’s Northern Territory

A recent survey suggests U.S. Marines are being welcomed with open arms by residents of Australia’s Northern Territory.

There’s been a steady build-up of Marines in Darwin, Australia, since 2012.

On May 1, with the Marines’ rotational force poised to reach its target of 2,500 troops, the Australian government released a report showing that Darwin leaders and residents have a generally positive view of the U.S. military presence.

Auditing firm KPMG’s “US Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI) Social and Economic Impact Study” involved a telephone survey of 408 locals and meetings with 27 key representatives from business, government and the community.

It shows 51% of people there have positive feelings about the U.S. troops with only 6% responding negatively.

That’s a contrast with Okinawa, Japan, for example, where criminal behavior periodically works against the U.S. cause, as was the case on April 13, when a U.S. sailor apparently fatally stabbed a Japanese woman and then killed himself, according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

Scott Morrison meets to meet USA Marines in Darwin

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison’s campaign caravan has rolled into Darwin for the first time this election.

Mr Morrison will spend today spruiking the Coalition’s defence package, which will include the introduction of a “Local Industry Capability Plan” requirement for all significant Defence infrastructure projects.

Under the plan, all tenderers for defence infrastructure construction jobs valued at more than $7.5 million will need to show how they will engage local businesses in the project.

While in Darwin, Mr Morrison is expected to visit the newly-arrived Marine contingent and announce the rotation will reach its full strength by July.

The eighth Marine rotation to Darwin will see 2500 American soldiers posted in the Top End, up from 1700 now

More US Marines heading down under - 9News

A new contingent of US Marines are headed to Darwin in the eighth rotation of American troops training down under.

The ramp-up from 1700 Marines expected to arrive this year to 2500 will be the first time US troop numbers reach the full planned complement.

The Morrison government says the increased US military presence was the result of Australia's strong alliance and friendship with the US.

This year, the Marines will participate in multiple training activities with Australian troops, including a new humanitarian assistance and disaster response segment.

Marines are bringing more air power than ever to annual training in Australia

Aircraft deploying to Australia’s Northern Territory include 10 MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors, four AH-1Z Vipers and three UH-1Y Venom helicopters, a Marine spokesman said.

Aircraft deploying for the rotation include 10 MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors, four AH-1Z Vipers and three UH-1Y Venom helicopters, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Colin Kennard said in an email.

The aircraft represent “the most capable Aviation Combat Element” sent to Darwin since the rotational deployments began in 2011, he said.

“These aircraft increase the training value for MRF-D activities and increase our ability to respond to contingencies within the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

To facilitate operations for the U.S.A. helicopters, temporary airfield matting has been installed at RAAF base Darwin.