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US Navy secretary touts other AUKUS components

The new AUKUS partnership could increase the presence of US marines in Australia, shown here in a ‘Talisman Sabre' exercise near Dawin. (Michael Fabey)

While the joint-submarine-building plan proposed under the new AUKUS security partnership detailed recently by United States, United Kingdom and Australia has garnered most of the attention, US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro lauded other components of the agreement on 17 September.

Leaders from the three countries acknowledged the partnership on 15 September, noting that its initiative will be to collaborate on the development of a nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

“Under the ‘AUKUS' alliance, we will enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing, ensuring our people are kept safe from harm and reinforcing our shared goals,” UK officials said in statement. “AUKUS will foster deeper integration of security and defence-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains.”

Asked about other potential components of the partnership, specifically whether Australia would be offering additional basing to US forces, Secretary Del Toro told reporters during a 17 September media roundtable, “There is a general commitment from Australia and the US to continue to increase our participation and collaboration together.”

Specifically, the US Navy secretary noted the likelihood of a “much larger marine presence” in Australia and the Australian desire for joint training between the two marine forces.

US marines started increasing rotational deployments in Darwin during the previous decade. The two nations' marine forces have been conducting joint training during such exercises as ‘Talisman Sabre'.

Del Toro acknowledged the submarine component of AUKUS is “more strategically advanced” of other parts, but noted that the partnership “involved greater collaboration in AI (artificial intelligence), cyber security”, and other related matters.

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