MRF-D 22s aviation support established in Darwin

The Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) Aviation Combat Element (ACE) has arrived in Darwin.

The aircraft are critical to accomplishing Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) missions and tasks in 2022.

As one of the major subordinate elements of the MAGTF, the ACE offers much more than just aircraft in the skies.

Led by Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-268), and joined by detachments from Marine Air Control Group 38 (MACG), Marine Wing Support Squadron 174 (MWSS), and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 (MALS), the MRF-D 2022 ACE provides mobility, response, and awareness to the MAGTF.

Compared with traditional rotary-wing platforms, the MV-22 extends the operational reach of the MAGTF which will be showcased during the exercises of this year’s rotation.

Marine Corps F-35Bs will train Down Under with Australian stealth fighters this summer

F-35B Lightning IIs from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, will participate in Australia’s biennial Exercise Pitch Black, Marine Aircraft Group 12 spokesman Gunnery Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy said in an email Thursday.

Pitch Black involves the Royal Australian Air Force working with regional, coalition and allied nations. It will take place from Aug. 19 to Sept. 8

Ten MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft deployed with the rotational force from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268, out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, will participate in Pitch Black, DiPietro said.

Marines from Air Control Group 38, part of the rotational force, will also take part in Pitch Black

As the world pivots, it’s time for Australia to confront the unthinkable

The nation’s pre-election preoccupations are trivial, even while huge shifts in global security demand that our leaders consider actions that have been unthinkable.

In this article, AALD alumni Peter Hartcher proposes:

  •  conscription
  •  cutting trade with China
  •  even more new USA war bases

Australia soon will be discussing with Washington the options for hosting major US combatants, including nuclear-capable planes and ships and subs, on Australian territory, in rotation or home-basing.

... but expect to be left in the lurch in the likelihood of USA abandoning democracy

USA to send bombers and fighter aircraft to Australia to counter China

A Pentagon review of the US’s military resources also called for an upgrade of its bases in Guam and Australia to counter Beijing’s military buildup in the Indo-Pacific.

The Pentagon has been directed to enhance its “infrastructure in Guam and Australia” and to prioritise “military construction across the Pacific islands”.

“In Australia, you’ll see new rotational fighter and bomber aircraft deployments,” said Mara Karlin, deputy under secretary for policy at the US’s Department of Defence.

“You’ll see ground forces training and increased logistics cooperation, and more broadly across the Indo-Pacific, you’ll see a range of infrastructure improvements, in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Australia.”

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.

USA B-1B Lancer bombers swoop Down Under to train with Australian refuelers

The B-1B Lancer bombers flew 3,700 miles from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean for drills at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia’s Department of Defence said in a statement Tuesday.

The drill allowed U.S. and Australian aviators to work together in challenging conditions, Air Commodore Stephen Chappell, director general of Australia’s Air and Space Operations Centre, said in the statement.

The B-1B is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force and can carry a conventional payload of up to 37.4 tons of guided and unguided ordnance.

Australian aviators trained with B-1B crews on Guam in 2020, according to the Australian statement.

The B-1Bs rendezvoused over the Timor Sea with two Australian tankers, which transferred fuel to them at an altitude of 30,000 feet, according to the statement. Expect to see more in future...