- News Feature : HELPEM FREN: Just another point of view [27/06/2017 - Solomon Islands]
- News Feature : PNG Media Council to get legal opinion on cybercrime act [26/06/2017 - Papua New Guinea]
- News Feature : Keeping Australia safe through police-led diplomacy [26/06/2017 - Australia]
- Business News : No quick fixes’ to Pacific Tourism’s e-commerce challenges – We need to work together [26/06/2017 - Fiji]
- News : Vote suspended in PNG capital as three returning officers are detained [26/06/2017 - Papua New Guinea]
- News : Solomons PM says RAMSI partnership a regional success [26/06/2017 - Solomon Islands]
- News : Fijian patrol boat training in Tasmania [26/06/2017 - Australia]
- News : WHO estimates 2 million deaths for physical inactivity [26/06/2017 - Fiji]
- News Feature : RAMSI hailed a success for regional partnership as final Enhanced Consultative Meeting held in Solomon Islands [26/06/2017 - Solomon Islands]
- News Feature : Trump order that could shrink California and Pacific Ocean marine sanctuaries moves forward [26/06/2017 - United States]
- Business News : Duty-free access good news: Fiji Trade Minister [26/06/2017 - Fiji]
- Business News : Bluesky sale on track [26/06/2017 - Samoa]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
U.S Marines began arriving in Australia's tropical north on Tuesday for a six-month deployment during which they will conduct exercises with Australian and visiting Chinese forces.
The 25-year annual deployment programme started by former U.S President Barack Obama in 2011 is part of the U.S. "pivot" to Asia at a time of increased assertiveness by China.
“I think that the commitment that we've taken to put a task force here with a conversation to get larger over the years says that we do think this is an important region,” said Marines' commander Lieutenant Colonel Brian Middleton after the first troops arrived in Darwin in the Northern Territory.
“Being close to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, the Indo Pacific position has always been important.”
Middleton said the marines would conduct an “important exercise alongside our Chinese partners” and Australia.
The strength of this year's deployment at 1,250 troops lags well behind the initial plan for the deployment to reach 2,500 Marines this year, but it will see the largest U.S. aircraft contingent to Australia in peacetime history.
Middleton said the 13 aircraft, including tilt-rotor Ospreys, Super Cobra helicopters and Huey helicopters, triple the four aircraft in past deployments, was a “tangible kind of sign of our commitment to the region and to this partnership”.
He said the decision to send the aircraft pre-dated the recent escalation in tensions over North Korea.
“Regardless, I think it is just a good move any time we can strengthen the long standing partnership and alliance between our two countries. We stand ready to fight and win the night always.”
U.S President Donald Trump has ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to near the Korean peninsula as a show of force aimed at deterring North Korea from conducting more missiles tests. Pyongyang launched a failed missile test on Sunday and has warned Washington against taking military action against North Korea.
The Australia-US-China military exercises are also aimed at Australia charting a course between its most important security ally the United States and its biggest trading partner China.
Australia has drawn rebukes from both superpowers as it tries to strike a balanced stance on the disputed South China Sea, with China criticizing Australian freedom-of-navigation flights in the area and a senior U.S. soldier calling on Australia to do more there.
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media