The Corps’ rotation to Australia in 2018 was the largest yet, with just more than 1,500 Marines training in the Pacific country, but there are plans to eventually boost those numbers to 2,500.

During the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations in July, American and Australian officials vowed to boost the numbers of Marines rotating through the country to 2,500.

The Corps’ seventh rotation to Australia in 2018 featured MV-22 Ospreys, M777 howitzers and 1,587 Marines, next years could be larger.

The training exercises in Australia have been important to the Corps as it is in the middle of one the largest flexes of Marines to the Pacific region since World War II.

“The Secretaries and Ministers highlighted the importance of U.S.-Australia defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, particularly through full implementation of Force Posture Initiatives between U.S. and Australian forces in Australia. They emphasized the value of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin and Enhanced Air Cooperation for improving the interoperability of U.S. and Australian defense forces,” a State Department press release stated.

This is an excerpt from “19 Things You Need to Know in 2019,” in the 12-31 print edition of Marine Corps Times.

Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.