News ID: 109889
Publish Date : 07 December 2022 - 22:21

U.S. to Increase Rotational Military Presence in Australia, Invite Japan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Australia have agreed to deepen defense ties, including by increasing the rotational presence of U.S. air, land and sea forces in the Oceanic country, citing shared concerns over China’s actions around Taiwan and in the East and South China Seas.
The announcement followed talks between the top U.S. and Australian defense and diplomatic officials in Washington, DC.
“Today, we agreed to deepen our defense cooperation in several important ways,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a joint news conference with his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, that also included the two nations’ foreign ministers.
“Based upon the talks, we will increase rotational presence of U.S. forces in Australia. That includes rotations of bomber task forces, fighters and future rotations of U.S. Navy and U.S. Army capabilities,” he said.
The two countries have also agreed to “invite Japan to integrate into our force posture initiatives in Australia”, he said.
Austin cited China’s rise and Russia, Ukraine war as the reasons for increased U.S.-Australian defense ties.
“The United States and Australia share a vision of a region where countries can determine their own futures,” he said.
In a joint statement following Tuesday’s talks, known as AUSMIN, the two sides said that “to strengthen U.S. land presence,” they would expand locations for U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps forces in Australia. It said they would also identify priority locations to support the enhanced U.S. presence with runway improvements, aircraft parking aprons and storage for fuel and munitions, as well as prepositioning stores, munitions and fuel.
Washington sees Canberra as a vital partner in its efforts to push back against China, and analysts say Australia could have a crucial logistical role to play in the defense of Taiwan against any move by Beijing to reclaim the strategic, self-administered island.
Australia’s Northern Territory is already host to frequent military collaborations with the U.S.
Thousands of U.S. Marines rotate through the territory annually for training and joint exercises, and Washington is planning to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an air base in the region, according to Australian media.