Australian military upgrading facilities for U.S. Marines

Oct. 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The Australian Department of Defense is upgrading facilities at two military bases used by U.S. Marines during rotational deployments.

The work, to be conducted at Robertson Barracks and Royal Australian Air Force base Darwin, will be performed by Sitzler Pty Ltd under a contract worth nearly $10.4 million, Parliamentary Secretary for Defense Darren Chester announced Friday.

"While the U.S. Marines will mostly use existing Defense [Department] facilities, as they have in previous rotations, some modest facilities works are required to meet additional requirements," he said.

"The facilities will ensure that appropriate living and working accommodation is available for the U.S. Marine Corps."

As the United States refocuses military policy and assets toward Asia, contingents of U.S. Marines have been rotating out of Australia's Northern Territory, where it conducts exercises with Australian forces.

About 200 Marines have rotated to Darwin since 2012. About 1,150 are scheduled to do so next year.

The Australian Department of Defense said construction at the facilities will begin later this month and be completed by the end of February.

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