Expanded Military Ties in Australia

20111116 POTUS PM Gillard

President Barack Obama holds a joint press conference with Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Nov. 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

When President Obama met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday, they announced plans for the first sustained American military presence in Australia.

By the end of 2012, 250 Marines will begin six month rotations, and in the years ahead, that force will build out to 2,500. They'll train alongside Australian troops and live on Australian bases. In addition, the U.S. Air Force will have additional access to Australian airfields.

At the news conference with the Prime Minister, President Obama said:

The United States of America has no stronger ally than Australia. We are bound by common values, the rights and the freedoms that we cherish. And for nearly a century, we’ve stood together in defense of these freedoms. And I'm very happy to be here as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our alliance, and as we work together to strengthen it for the future.

Read the full remarks here.

See more: Check out a slideshow from the President’s trip to Australia.

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