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US to send more Marines to Australia

Published on Mar 25, 2014 6:34 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States will send 1,150 Marines to Australia in April, bolstering the roughly 200-member force already in Darwin, officers said on Monday, March 24, 2014.

The reinforcements are part of a planned deployment of up to 2,500 US Marines in Australia by 2016-2017, as Washington pursues a strategic "rebalance" to the Asia-Pacific.

Most of the Marines will come from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton in California and are "expected to arrive in Australia in early April", the Marine Corps said in a statement.

The force will include four CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters and about 100 personnel to operate and maintain the aircraft, it said.

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