On the evening of April 3, 180 American Marines landed in Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. They are ushering in what will be a rotational deployment of 2500 troops.

The arrival of the marines is proof positive Darwin is fast becoming a military hub.

The city has long had a defence presence – there is a Navy base at Larrakeyah, an Army barracks at Holtze and air force bases in Darwin and Katherine.

But the Federal Government is adding a new dimension to Darwin as a military city by allowing the deployment of US soldiers and more visits by other American forces.

As Defence Minister Stephen Smith says: “There will be more troops in and out of Darwin, more ships in and out and more planes in and out.”

This development will hopefully help to further cement the longstanding friendship between Australia and the United States.