First 200 U.S. Marines land at permanent joint training hub in Australia.

110608-O-ZZ999-003
U.S. Sailors and Marines onboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) sort mail on the flight deck of the ship during Pacific Partnership in Darwin, Australia, June 8, 2011. U.S. Navy photo by Kristopher Radder/Released.

The first detachment of 200 U.S. Marines has arrived in northern Australia, where a permanent joint training hub is taking shape as part of a U.S. shift of military strength in the Asia-Pacific region.

In November, the United States and Australia announced plans to send more U.S. military aircraft to Australia and to rotate up to 2,500 Marines through the northern city of Darwin to better protect American interests across Asia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the initial six-month rotation of Fox Company will not include heavy equipment, vehicles or aircraft. Air and sea movements in support of this rotation will be minimal, she said.

“There are no U.S. military bases in Australia, and this will not change,” she said.

Source: Rod McGuirk for Associated Press.