U.S., Australia cement importance of alliance

Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), visited the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) and the Australian 1st Brigade on March 23 to recognize the strength and importance of the U.S.-Australian alliance.

“We want to be able to join together quickly, and operate immediately. We will be ready to respond and to fight and to win, and we can only do that together,” said Admiral Aqulino, who took command of USINDOPACOM nearly one year ago. “This is about preventing conflict, but if deterrence fails, we’re ready.”

Admiral Aqulino served as the guest of honor for a Larrakia Welcome to Country ceremony, which took place at the Australian Defence Force’s Robertson Barracks in the Northern Territory. The ceremony, a tradition of the Larrakia Nation in Darwin, marks the arrival of Marines and Sailors attached to MRF-D 22 for the 11th iteration of the 25-year agreement.

“It was really special to see the commander of one of our most critical combatant commands spend time with our Marines and discuss the importance of our mission,” said Sergeant Major Justin Stokes, the senior enlisted advisor for MRF-D. “His visit and this ceremony were humbling reminders of how strong our relationship is with the ADF, and why our presence is vital to the region.”

Text credit: Capt. Joseph DiPietro Marine Rotational Force – Darwin

Photo credit: Cpl. Cedar Barnes.  U.S. Navy Admiral John Aquilino, commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command interacts with Australian Soldiers with 1st Brigade, Forces Command, during a welcome to country ceremony and capabilities brief at Robertson Barracks, Darwin, NT, Australia, March 23, 2022. 

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