NT emergency services deployed for USA Marine V-22 Osprey at Darwin Airport

An emergency response at the Darwin Airport has been declared a false alarm after a pair of fire trucks raced across the tarmac to seemingly save a landed United States V-22 Osprey.

On Tuesday, morning, passengers and staff were left confused when the airport came to a stand still as two fire trucks entered the airstrip to pull up alongside the US Marine aircraft.

Civilian onlookers watched with anticipation, only for the fire and rescue teams to stand down and return to their bays, with airport operations resumed a short time later.

There was no emergency and no problem with the aircraft.

East Arm base tipped for ADF landing craft

Mr Gosling said northern Australia’s defence would be seriously boosted by the Commonwealth’s $7-10bn investment in 18 medium landing craft and eight heavy landing craft, to be based in northern Australia.

Writing in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Strategist magazine, the Top End’s federal MP said the strong focus on northern Australia in defence planning including the National Defence Strategy and Integrated Investment Program reflected the crucial role the region would play in defending the nation.

He said northern Australian bases would “have a key role to play in helping the ADF to recover from an attack and strike back at the enemy”.

He flagged East Arm as a potential site to base the Territory’s contingent.

“Picture the manoeuvres of the British and US planes that shot down Iranian missiles heading for Israel in April — only this time over the Arafura Sea, again.”

US to Increase Military Presence in Australia in Buildup Aimed at China

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that the US will increase its military presence in Australia in a buildup aimed at China.

In a joint press conference with Australia’s defense minister and foreign minister, Austin said that the US will increase its rotational forces in Australia. “That includes rotations of bomber task forces, fighters, and future rotations of US Navy and US Army capabilities,” Austin said.

Many countries in the region are not eager to get on board with the US’s confrontational approach to China. The prime minister of Papua New Guinea said this week that his country can’t afford to get caught between the US and China and said he told the US your “enemy is not my enemy.”

Indonesia’s president expressed similar concerns during a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in November, saying the ASEAN must not let the region turn into a frontline for a new Cold War.

Details on the rotational deployments aren’t clear, but they will likely focus on the Australian city of Darwin in the Northern Territory, where US Marines have been rotating through for years.

US Military to Increase Rotations to Australia Facing Growing China Threat

The agreement was finalized during a joint U.S.-Australia meeting that included Austin and his defense minister counterpart from Canberra.

"Based upon today's talks, we will increase the rotational presence of U.S. forces in Australia," Austin said at a press conference at the State Department. "That includes rotations of bomber task forces, fighters and future rotations of U.S. Navy and U.S. Army capabilities."

The increased military presence in Australia comes after the U.S. and U.K. announced in September 2021 that they had agreed to school the Australians on the "extremely sensitive" technology of nuclear-powered submarines. The U.S. had previously shared the technology only with the British.

US military’s footprint is expanding in northern Australia to meet a rising China

Major construction, funded by the U.S. and Australian governments, is underway in Australia’s Northern Territory for facilities that will be used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

The facilities will support U.S. and Australian forces training to defend chains of small islands that would likely be an arena for any future conflict with China, according to former Australian assistant defense secretary Ross Babbage.

The allies are learning to conduct dispersed operations and deploy anti-ship missiles to island chains in the Western Pacific “to make it extremely difficult and dangerous for Chinese operations in a crisis,” including a conflict over Taiwan, he said by phone Wednesday.

The Australian government will likely announce more initiatives in the northern Australia before the year is over, Babbage said.