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Reuters: Australia Agrees to Co-Fund US Force Deployment Efforts in Darwin

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military in trainingDefense Secretary Ashton Carter has discussed plans to double the number of U.S. Marines in the Australian city of Darwin by 2020 with Australia’s Defense Minister Marise Payne during a bilateral meeting held in Washington, Reuters reported Thursday.

Tom Westbrook writes the two countries have reached a cost-sharing agreement in principle  to increase U.S. military presence in Australia’s tropical north where approximately 2,500 soldiers are currently stationed.

The two countries agreed to co-invest $1.52 billion in infrastructure that will support military operations in northern Australia as well as other share costs associated with the 25-year deployment plan, according to the report.

The report said the U.S. and Australia also want to conduct joint training and exercises that could seek participation from other Asia-Pacific allies.

“The two sides will now finalize a cost sharing implementing arrangement to capture the terms, pursuant to the force posture agreement,” Commander Gary Ross, a Defense Department spokesman, told Reuters.

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