US Marines arrive in Darwin for high-end live fire exercises

The latest rotation of US Marines has touched down in Darwin as they prepare to join Australian soldiers in training in “humanitarian assistance, security operations, and high-end live fire exercises”.

The 2500 member strong Marine Rotational Force-Darwin will spend the next seven months working closely with their Australian counterparts as well as other partner nations from around the region.

It comes on the back of last week’s announcement of the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal, and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the US continued to be Australia’s “most vital security partner”.

“Over the next six months, the Australian Defence Force and US Marine Corps will conduct a comprehensive range of training activities including humanitarian assistance, security operations, and high-end live fire exercises."

Time for a more honest conversation about foreign basing in Australia

Australia needs to have a more honest conversation, with itself and its main ally, about the b-word. As a straight-talking country that prides itself on its closeness to the United States, Australia finds it curiously difficult to talk in plain terms about foreign military basing on its territory, at least in public. It’s an interesting kink in the country’s strategic psyche—and one that needs straightening out sooner rather than later.

As the defence strategic review announcement and AUKUS submarine decision are pending, Canberra should develop clear, plain language that eschews euphemism when talking about the US’s forward posture and associated basing arrangements in Australia.

Australia's Space Command pushes for 'soft kill' capability to take out enemy satellites

The head of the ADF's Space Command says Australia is working on a plan to take out enemy satellites without creating dangerous debris.

Last year, top ranking members of the US Space Force described Australia as a "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow", saying the country's geography was "prime" for future space operations.

"Geography is really important. We need to be able to see to protect, and we can see a lot from here," Vice Admiral Roberts said.

"And that goes for non-kinetic effects from the ground too, because it's what you can see and where you can effect it".

once again, our strategic direction dovetails perfectly to USA demands

More USA fuel tanks are set to be built in the Territory

First contracts have been awarded for construction of a $120m bulk fuel storage facility at RAAF Base Tindal.

California joint venture Nova Nacap was awarded the US$80m contract to construct two jet fuel storage tanks at Tindal.

As well as the tanks, the works contract includes construction of an aircraft liquid fuel truck fill stand, fuel unloading stand, pump houses and filter building.

The tanks are being built in part to provide fuel for expected B-52 deployments by the United States into Australia.


Work is expected to get under way next year and be completed by February 2025.

It's been empty since isolation rules relaxed, and now Defence is eyeing the Top End's 'gold standard' quarantine facility

More than 60,000 people quarantined at Howard Springs during the height of the pandemic. But the Defence Department is now considering using the facility to house thousands of military personnel during training exercises.

The Defence Department has now confirmed it is in negotiations with the Northern Territory government about leasing the facility.

"Potential future use options for the site have been canvassed during routine discussions between Defence and the Northern Territory Government," a defence spokesperson said.

Hospitality NT, which represents many of Darwin's hotels, said demand during the dry season is so strong that hotel rooms will be filled by tourists even if military personnel are housed at Howard Springs. "During the dry season, any large surge in military or government can absolutely impact other tourists," the organisation's CEO Alex Bruce said.