Australian general welcomes MRF-D aboard[MIGRATE]
By Cpl. Scott Reel
| April 11, 2014
Brig. Gen. John Frewen, 1st Brigade commanding general and senior Australian Defence Force officer for Robertson Barracks, spoke to Marine Rotational Force – Darwin Marines about expectations for the six- and the significance of their presence, here, April 11.
Each company formed into perfect alignment and waited for the command to gather around Frewen to listen to the guidance of Robertson Barracks’ senior officer.
“This morning I’ve had the opportunity to welcome the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin to Robertson Barracks and to talk to them about some of the experiences they might have while they’re here,” Frewen said.
He also addressed some of the important aspects of living together, operating together and making the most of this opportunity.
Capt. Andy Macak, company commander of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, MRF-D, said the Marines need to understand the significance the history between the ADF and the Marines Corps brings to this rotation.
“The key part is those deep ties that we have stretching back 50 to 70 years ago,” Macak said. “All that started right here in Darwin, following Guadalcanal.”
Frewen said MRF-D has a deeper meaning than just its literal presence in Australia and that this rotation sets the tone for the rotations to come.
“The important thing about MRF-D is that it’s very significant as a tangible sign of the strength of the alliance between our two countries,” Frewen said. “And it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to build greater interoperability together.”
MRF-D is not only symbolic of the history between the ADF and the Marine Corps but also a representation of the U.S. rebalance of focus to the Pacific.
“We as Americans and Marines in particular have been focused on Iraq and Afghanistan and the stability problems in the Middle East, which are important for national and world security, but the Pacific Rim and Asia Pacific are just as important economic centers of gravity, so the Marines and Australians have an important role to play here,” Macak said. “It’s going to be a good deployment and Marines will gain a lot out of it, as will our two countries.”
After Frewen finished welcoming the Marines, they expressed their enthusiasm for him with their unit chant, ‘Geronimo!’.