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Report: Obama to Announce Increased U.S. Military Presence in Australia

Pres. Obama with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

President Obama will announce an expansion of U.S. military presence in Australia during his first-ever trip to the country starting Wednesday, according to a report from Reuters.

The trip comes three days after Obama hosted world leaders in Hawaii at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

According to the report, Obama will address Australia’s parliament in Canberra and outline an expanded role in the Asia-Pacific region.

After addressing Australian lawmakers, Obama will travel to Darwin, located in the northern-most region of the country, and announce that U.S. Marines will train and use facilities in Darwin. Permanent basing is not included in the agreement with Australia, Reuters reported.

CNN is reporting the increased presence will also include U.S. warships, which will be stationed near Perth, the largest city on Australia’s west coast.

Greater attention is being paid to the Asia-Pacific region, specifically the South China Sea. The winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will allow the U.S. to focus on the sea, which China claims all of. Occasional standoffs have occurred in the shipping lane, valued at more than $5 million in annual trade, according to Reuters.

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