Sep 9, 2013

The Honorable John W. Elferink, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Correctional Services, Public Employment and Statehood for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, speaks to Sgt. Maj. G. A. “Butch” Vasquez, sergeant major for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and a native of Belize, Central America, about the historical significance of the Great Hall of Parliament House here, Aug. 9. In World War II, the Japanese Imperial Navy dropped its initial bombardment of Australia on the land where the Parliament House is now built. The building houses many relics and memorials dedicated to the sacrifice of the Australian civilians and military, as well as U.S. service members who fought in Australia. It is because of this historical tie and the close relationship between the two countries that Elferink stated to Vasquez, “we have sent a clear message that the U.S. Marines are very welcome to Darwin.” The Marines of the 31st MEU recently completed Exercise Koolendong 13, where the unit moved a battalion-sized force 300 miles inland from the Port of Darwin in order to execute live-fire training in the outback. The 31st MEU is the force of choice for the Asia-Pacific region and is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU.

No camera details available.


Read More

This photograph is considered public domain and has been cleared for release. If you would like to republish please give the photographer appropriate credit. Further, any commercial or non-commercial use of this photograph or any other DoD image must be made in compliance with guidance found at, which pertains to intellectual property restrictions (e.g., copyright and trademark, including the use of official emblems, insignia, names and slogans), warnings regarding use of images of identifiable personnel, appearance of endorsement, and related matters.

No camera details available.