40 Commando, Royal Marines, arrive in Darwin ahead of Exercise Predator’s Run

The United Kingdom has sent an elite Special Forces Unit to the Top End ahead of a massive multinational military exercise this month.

Last weekend, troops from 40 Commando, Royal Marines, touched down at Darwin Airport to take part in the Australian Army-led Exercise Predator’s Run.

Having travelled more than 14,000 kilometres, it is understood 40 Commando’s touchdown was preceded by an advanced party which arrived early to plan alongside local Australian Defence Force (ADF) units.

The Defence spokesman also confirmed personnel from the Philippine Army would participate in the exercise.

US to increase rotation of forces to Australia

The US will increase rotations of its air, land and sea forces to Australia and has condemned China’s “dangerous and coercive actions” across the Indo-Pacific region.

As part of the step-up in defence ties, the US plans to preposition munitions and fuel in Australia to support its military forces.

Airfields in northern Australia are set to be upgraded to enable rotations of US aircraft.

Defence secretary also pledges to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines ‘as quickly as possible’ at annual high-level talks.

Austin said the US would “increase rotations of our air, land and sea forces” to Australia as the two countries were “determined to be a force for stability” in the region.

“That includes rotations of bomber task forces, fighters and future rotations of US navy and US army capabilities,” Austin said, adding that the specific details would be worked out by officials and announced at a later date.

The UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, will join Marles and Austin for a first meeting of the Aukus defence ministers on Thursday.