US to increase troop presence in Australia

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US to increase troop presence in Australia

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks at the State Department, December 6, 2022, with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. AP WASHINGTON - The United States will increase the rotational presence of air, land and sea forces in Australia, including bomber aircraft and fighter jets, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday.

After the annual AUSMIN talks between the allies, Austin said that the two countries also agreed to invite Japan into our force posture initiatives in Australia. Austin did not say when an increase would be in the rotations, or how many troops, ships and aircraft they would involve, and it was unclear how the announcement differed from a similar statement a year ago.

The United States and Australia share a vision of a region where countries can determine their own futures, he told a joint news conference with his Australian counterpart, which included the nations' foreign ministers.

The sides said in a joint statement that to strengthen US land presence, they would expand locations for US Marine Corps and the US Army forces in Australia.

They said they would identify priority locations to support the enhanced US force posture with runway improvements, aircraft parking aprons and storage for fuel and munitions, and they also decided to preposition stores, munitions and fuel in support of US capabilities.

Australia's Northern Territory is already host to frequent military collaborations with the United States. Thousands of US Marines rotate through the territory annually for training and joint exercises.

The United States plans to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an air base in northern Australia, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in October.

Just before last year's AUSMIN talks, the United States, Britain and Australia created a security deal, known as AUKUS, which will provide Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

READ MORE: The US military build-up in Australia raises concerns about the US military build-up in Australia.

The two sides said they had further discussions on that issue, and Britain's defence minister, Ben Wallace, will attend a first in-person meeting of AUKUS ministers on Wednesday in Washington.

The partners are due to decide whether the submarine will be British or American in March, and set a road map for an Australian fleet.

Australia Defense Minister Richard Marles said Tuesday that the agreements would see an increase in activity between our two countries across all domains and that they were looking at increased force-posture cooperation to improve the capacity of facilities in Australia.

He said that it's important that we are doing this from the point of view of providing balance within our region and involving other countries in our region.

Marles said he and Foreign Minister Penny Wong would hold similar 2 2 talks with Japan in Tokyo later in the week, with an invitation for Japan to participate in more exercises with Australia and the United States. ALSO READ: United States, Britain, Australia urged to reverse their decision on the nuke sub deal.

He said that the United States and Australia had taken steps on Tuesday to create a more seamless defense industrial base and that they needed to work together more closely to improve our military capability and to develop new technologies. Kurt Campbell, the White House's coordinator for the region, said earlier this year that moving forward, everything we do of consequence in the Indo-Pacific, is what we will do with Australia.