US to increase military presence in Australia to confront China in Indo-Pacific

RNS: United States is expanding its military presence in Australia to confront China’s threat in the Indo-Pacific.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced plans to modernise Northern Australia airfields, so more US planes could land there. He stated that Australian airbases would be modified to house the B-52, the US’ most advanced bomber. These bombers can launch long-range, heavy-payload nuclear strikes.

The announcement comes after a meeting between Australia’s Deputy Prime minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington DC.

Austin also announced that the US will be increasing the rotation of its air, land and sea forces in the region. He said the US has decided to preposition munitions and fuel in Australia, to enhance the capability of US forces deputed there.

“US will help Australia acquire nuclear submarines as quickly as possible,” he added.

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