USA open to upping Marines presence

US Marine Corps Commandant General David H. Berger said he supports an open-ended increase in the number of Marines rotated into the country.

“I think the limits of that will be as far as Australia will allow us to go,” he said.

“Darwin does for us … two basic things. It gives us a place to train at scale alongside a partner at a high end.

“You can use every tool in the tool kit and press things to the limit in terms of realism.

“It’s awesome and we’re doing it with a partner who uses the same howitzer, uses the same equipment, who thinks the same.

During the Q&A session, ASPI executive director Peter Jennings said he supported the inclusion of Japanese Marines in the north Australian posture.