The 2013 Defence White Paper highlights that Australia’s Alliance with the United States continues to be the bedrock of Australia’s defence, security, and strategic arrangements.
Australia works in close partnership with the United States to advance shared security interests in our region and globally. Both countries are committed to working closely in the Indo-Pacific region to promote peace and security, investment and prosperity.
In its 62nd year, the Australia-United States Alliance is the indispensable, enduring feature of Australia’s strategic and security arrangements. With the Indo-Pacific region going through a period of significant geopolitical change, it is important to ensure that our Alliance continues to grow and develop to meet the strategic and security challenges we face.
Australia welcomes the shift in US strategic focus towards the region, and the US commitment to maintain its strong diplomatic, economic and security presence. The US rebalance provides Australia with new opportunities for cooperation with the United States and regional countries to build regional cooperation and capacity.
Substantially enhanced practical cooperation between Australia and the US is an essential part of Australia’s contribution to regional peace and stability.
In November 2011, the Prime Minister and President Obama announced during the President’s visit to Australia new force posture initiatives that significantly enhance practical defence cooperation between Australia and the US.
The first involves the rotation of United States Marine Corps personnel through Northern Australia to undertake bilateral training in Australia with the ADF and conduct unilateral training in Australia. The second rotation of around 200 United States Marine Corps personnel arrived in Darwin for a six month deployment. This rotation will be similar in nature to the initial rotation in 2012. At the Australia-US Ministerial Meeting (AUSMIN) in Perth on 14 November 2012, Australia and the United States welcomed the success of the first rotation of US Marine Corps personnel and agreed to continue to progress the initiatives in an incremental and considered manner. The intent in the coming years is to establish a rotational presence of up to a 2,500 personnel Marine Air Ground Task Force, rotating into Northern Australia in the northern dry season.
The second force posture initiative involves enhanced aircraft cooperation, which is expected to result in increased rotations of US Air Force aircraft through northern Australia. This will enhance bilateral collaboration and offer greater opportunities for combined and multilateral training and exercises. The details of such enhanced aerial access is yet to be the subject of detailed discussion between the Australian Government and the US Administration.
In recognition of the importance of the Indian Ocean and our combined focus on the global strategic significance of the region, Australia and the United States will also continue to explore cooperation on Indian Ocean matters, reflecting our combined focus on the global strategic significance of the region. This will include potential opportunities for additional naval cooperation at a range of locations, including HMAS Stirling, Australia’s Indian Ocean naval base.
At the AUSMIN Meeting in November last year, Australia and the US decided to intensify cooperation to meet emerging security challenges in space and cyberspace. AUSMIN reflected on the importance of space-enabled systems and cyberspace to our economies, societies and national security, and affirmed our common interest in ensuring the safety, stability, sustainability and security of space and cyberspace. Cooperation in areas such as space and cyber demonstrate the Alliance’s adaptability to contemporary challenges.
Similarly, cooperation on defence technology between our defence organisations and our defence industries is adapting to new demands, and being enhanced by mechanisms like the Australia-US Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty.
Through the Alliance, Australia obtains access to capabilities, intelligence and capacity that we could not generate on our own. Our traditional activities – warfighting, training and exercising, intelligence cooperation and capability development – are enduring and underpin the Alliance.
3 May 2013
PRESS OFFICE (02) 6277 7744
MINISTER SMITH’S OFFICE (02) 6277 7800