Earlier this year, the ABC revealed senior American and Australian officials had discussed options for expanded military cooperation, including a proposal to form a new joint US marines and ADF training brigade based in Darwin.
The review also did not include "functional capabilities" like nuclear, space and cyber, because those are being addressed in other Department specific reviews, the official said.
The additional rotations of aircraft in Australia, first flagged when Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Marise Payne travelled to Washington in September, is confirmation the USA is going ahead with the plan as a key pillar in its more forceful defence posture to deter against a rising China.
President Biden’s top adviser for Asia, Dr Kurt Campbell, has said he expects the US and Australia military to become “melded” together in a way unimaginable twenty years ago, as the AUKUS security pact comes to fruition.
Dr Campbell said the AUKUS pact “tied Australia more deeply to us”, and both Australia and the UK had made “a fundamental strategic choice to work with the US” in the Indo-Pacific.
“High level” teams in the US, Australia and UK were working on “doing whatever possible to provide the Royal Australian Navy with options to build nuclear subs as rapidly as possible”, Dr Campbell said.
“There are plenty of others who don't want to see this go ahead, I think that tells you why it's so important that we do.”