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Under the auspices of an “expanded partnership” the US is shipping up to 1,000 Marines to Australia.Dan Lamothe with the Marine Corps Times reports no announcement has been made, but President Obama is headed to Australia next week to cement the deal with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The Sydney Morning Herald originally broke the story which has been confirmed by other media outlets in the area.
Stretching the limits of Robertson Barracks in Darwin, the base will be expanded to accommodate the Marines, but no new installations will be constructed.
This will be the first permanent US military presence in Australia and comes as the Obama administration is shoring up military strength all through the South Pacific.
The move is expected to enhance Chinese/US tension in the area and already Australia’s Green Party has spoken against the Marine buildup saying it will make Australia “a more significant military target.”