04/25/2014: MRF-D Marines celebrate ANZAC Day With Australian Forces
- In the first two photos, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, and Soldiers with 1st Brigade, parade through Palmerston to celebrate ANZAC Day, April 25, 2014. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance for veterans who have served in the Australian or New Zealand military.
- In the third photo, Members of the Australian Defence Force parade through Palmerston to celebrate ANZAC Day, April 25, 2014.
- In the fourth photo, Maj. Richard Hayes, commander of Operational Support Squadron, Australian Defence Force; Maj. Wyatt Frazer, commander of Combat Service Support Regiment, ADF; Capt. Andy Macak, company commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin; and 1st Lt. Alex Lang, executive officer of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, MRF-D, greet each other and talk before a parade through Palmerston to celebrate ANZAC Day, April 25, 2014.
- In the fifth photo, Marines with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, offer a wreath during a Dawn Service with 5th Royal Australian Regiment on ANZAC Day aboard Robertson Barracks, April 25, 2014
- In the final photo, Cpl. Mathew Alborough, 5th Royal Australian Regiment, gives a prayer at a Dawn Service on ANZAC Day aboard Robertson Barracks, April 25, 2014
The 6 month rotation in Australia is an important part of the distributed laydown and building convergent capabilities among core allies and partners in the region. Notably, a key element in shaping a 21st century Pacific defense structure is working convergent or cross-cutting modernization between the United States and key allies like Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.
And those allies are working their own cross cutting convergence often in multinational exercises sponsored by the United States in the Pacific or US training ranges. For example, the Australian Wedgetail commanded and controlled allied aircraft in a recent Red Flag exercise with South Korean and Japanese F-15s as part of the force. And this was after the South Korean F-15 crossed through Japanese airspace to get to the exercise.
In an interview with Lt. General Robling, the Commanding Officer of the Marine Forces in the Pacific or MARFORPAC, the CG discussed the rotation.
It’s not about just building relationships in the region. It is about collective security in the region. Building collective security requires, in part, a process of building partner capacity, and working convergent capacities to shape effective and mutually beneficial relationships which underlie the evolution of collective security.
Our working relationship with Australia is a case in point. Even though they see themselves… rightly… as an island continent, they’ve really got to be part of the entire region’s ability to respond to crisis, both natural and manmade. To do this, they can’t stay continent bound, and must engage forward in the greater Asia Pacific region.
By becoming part of a collective Pacific security apparatus, they get the added benefit of defending their nation away from their borders. The Australian military is small in comparison to the US, but it is a lethal and technologically sophisticated force. In the face of a large-scale threat, they, like the US and others in the region, wouldn’t be able to defend by themselves. They would have to be a part of a larger collective security effort and ally with the US or other likeminded nations in the region in order to get more effective and less costly defense capabilities pushed farther forward.
The MRF-D rotation comes at an important point in the Australian modernization effort itself.
The Marines are viewed as important contributors to working with the Australians to enhance their own joint force operational approach as new capabilities are added, notably the F-35. And Australian modernization benefits the USN-USMC team in the region as well as the Aussies adds important new capabilities to their forces, which can contribute, directly to enhanced coalition operational performance.