Push to boost number of US marines in the Top End

Defence Minister Peter Dutton wants to bolster US marine numbers in the Top End beyond 2500, declaring the nation’s security depends on even closer military ties with our closest ally.

Mr Dutton told the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s annual conference in Canberra yesterday Australia was working to take greater responsibility for its own security, but needed to “become an even more reliable alliance partner” to the US.

He said there was scope to increase the size of the US marine rotational force in the Top End from its 2500-strong pre-Covid high.

Chief Minster Michael Gunner has indicated he’s open to working with the Commonwealth and US governments on the issue.

“I think most Territorians know about the Bombing of Darwin and that young Americans died here that day too, defending this place that we call home."