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Gelombang Pertama Prajurit Marinir AS Tiba di Darwin

US Marines take cover after receiving indirect enemy fire during a security patrol through Helmand province's Nawa district, Afghanist...

US Marines take cover after receiving indirect enemy fire during a security patrol through Helmand province's Nawa district, Afghanistan. The Marines are assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 3. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Artur Shvartsberg.

Gelombang pertama prajurit AS yang akan ditempatkan di Australia tiba di Darwin, Rabu (4/4/2012). Mereka akan ditempatkan selama 6 bulan sebelum dirotasi oleh prajurit baru.

Sekitar 200 prajurit Korps Marinir AS (USMC) tiba di Darwin semalam. Menurut rencana, mereka akan ditempatkan di Barak Robertson di pinggir kota Darwin. Ini adalah gelombang pertama dari rencana penempatan 2.500 prajurit Marinir AS sebagai bagian dari pergeseran strategi militer global AS.

Perdana Menteri Australia Julia Gillard,
Menteri Pertahanan Stephen Smith, dan Menteri Besar Negara Bagian Northern Territory Paul Henderson mengeluarkan pernyataan bersama untuk menyambut para prajurit Marinir AS itu. "Ini menunjukkan evolusi dari berbagai latihan dan kegiatan yang selama ini sudah dilakukan oleh Amerika Serikat dan Angkatan Bersenjata Australia," demikian bunyi pernyataan tersebut.

Pernyataan itu juga menegaskan kembali tidak akan ada pangkalan militer AS di Australia. "Tidak ada pangkalan militer AS di Australia dan ini tidak akan berubah," tandasnya.

Meski kedua negara selama ini selalu menjadi sekutu dekat, AS hanya menempatkan  personel militer terbatas di stasiun mata-mata di Pine Gap Joint Defence Facility di dekat kota Alice Springs. Penempatan ribuan pasukan AS di Darwin ini menunjukkan pergeseran strategi global yang sangat signifikan.

Pekan lalu, Australia telah menyatakan akan mengizinkan AS mengoperasikan pesawat mata-mata tak berawak dari pangkalan di Pulau Cocos di dekat Indonesia. Selain itu, AS juga dilaporkan akan menempatkan kapal induk dan kapal selam nuklirnya di pangkalan angkatan laut Australia di Perth, Australia Barat.




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