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Australian Current Affairs

U.S. marines based in Australia will cost $1.6 billion


US Marines AustraliaInfrastructure costing an estimated $1.6 billion will need to be built in Northern Australia to accommodate a fully-equipped, 2500-strong US Marines task force due in Darwin in about 2016.

And it is not clear yet who will foot the bill to accommodate the potent and self-contained Marines Air Ground Task Group, which will come to Australia on six-monthly rotations.

As the second rotation of 250 US marines arrived in Darwin yesterday, a US Senate committee noted that plans to move thousands of marines “to Australia, Guam and Hawaii over a period of decades” were estimated to cost $US13.7bn ($13.3bn). “The marines preliminary estimate for the Australian portion of the plan is $1.6bn,” the committee on armed services report said.

“However, an assessment of what facilities might be needed in Australia has not yet been completed and formal negotiations with Australia have yet to begin.”

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said at the weekend that while the intent in coming years was to host up to 2500 personnel in a Marine Air Ground Task Force rotating into the Top End in the northern dry, a full taskforce would not be here before 2016-17. “The Australian government had not yet made any decisions about the arrangements for larger US Marine Corps rotations,” Mr Smith said.

He said the marines would stay at Darwin’s Robertson Barracks and train with troops from Australia and other nations; they would also train on their own at defence sites in the territory.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute analysts Andrew Davies and Mark Thomson said recently it made strategic sense for Australia to help out its US ally with the cost of its rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region at a time of defence budget cuts in both countries.

“It’s clear to us that there’s disappointment in Washington about the allied response to date — and Australia has been mentioned in this respect more than once,” they wrote.

“America sees itself as the hardest working member of a team and it’s looking for a higher rate of effort from the rest.

“There are some things we can do at relatively little cost that will have the dual benefit of making the US rebalance a little easier for them while providing us an excellent return on investment, in terms of both security and alliance good will,” Dr Davies and Dr Thomson said.

The marines force would have a big footprint in the territory and they would need facilities for personnel and storage and maintenance of their equipment.

“An ongoing US presence in the Asia-Pacific is unambiguously in our interest; we get a security benefit from the alliance far in excess of our modest defence spending,” the ASPI team said.

Source: The Australian – Marines lodging bill to hit $1.6bn
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “U.S. marines based in Australia will cost $1.6 billion

  1. It’s reassuring to know that the military are suffering the global economic crisis like the rest of us.

    Posted by Rob | April 22, 2013, 20:39
  2. I will say it loud and clear….Out of my country all you US COLONIALISTS INVADERS and SERPENTS BREEDING IN SEWERS, like ways, WAR/S LOVERS.
    War with CHINA ?….Get the HELL out of here.
    If so, let them spend theirs worthless Petro-dollars and tax payers money, not OURS Aussies, or MINE, keep them away from our shores, and build some Israeli brothels for them on the island..
    OUT OF HERE YAL PSYCHOPATHS.

    FORGIVE ME for saying such things on your page, you may deleted if you wish… 😉

    Posted by Old Fart | April 22, 2013, 21:26
  3. Great place for the TRUE BLUE to get inspired 😉

    http://www.sosnews.org/

    Posted by Old Fart | April 22, 2013, 21:27
  4. And why are they there, Mr. President. Certainly, Australia has proven it can defend itself long enough to get support to her.

    Posted by --Rick | April 23, 2013, 15:46

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