CANBERRA, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of U.S. Marines are set to begin arriving in Australia's Northern Territory over the next five months.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said on Saturday that the 2021 and also the 10th Marine Rotational Force - Darwin (MRF-D) will consist of around 2,200 troops by June.
Reynolds said that under special COVID-19 plans, the incoming Marines will be tested for coronavirus three times -- once 72 hours prior to departure and twice while undergoing 14 days of quarantine in a secure facility.
The 2021 MRF-D would arrive in groups of between 200-500 personnel and would quarantine in the facility so as not to take places in Australia's hotel quarantine system, according to Reynolds.
"The MRF-D and Australian Defence Force (ADF) will conduct a comprehensive range of training activities, including humanitarian assistance, security operations and high-end live-fire exercises," she said in a statement on Saturday.
As of Friday afternoon, there had been 28,842 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were zero and six respectively, according to the latest figures updated on Friday evening from the Department of Health.