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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Dustin Miles, a rifleman with the Ground Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, conducts a patrol during Jungle Warfare Training, Tully, Australia, April 15, 2019. Jungle warfare training is conducted to condition service members to thrive in hectic tropic environments and gives them the opportunity to prepare for arduous jungle warfare scenarios. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nicholas Filca)

Darwin, Australia. (June 5, 2024): There are few places on earth as challenging as the steamy jungles “down-under”, even for the most hardened Marine. In this photo by Lance Corporal Nicholas Filca, Corporal Dustin Miles, a rifleman with the Ground Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, is on a combat patrol at Australia’s Tully Jungle Warfare School. The Marine Rotational Force was established in 2012 with up to 2,500 Marines deploying to Darwin on a six-month rotation to train with their Aussie counterparts in the Northern Territory.

During their six-month deployment, Marines train with their Australian counterparts in live fire exercises at various locations in this sprawling training area. Tully is a 33,000 acre mix of swamps, ravines, and sharp cliffs with an annual rainfall of about one hundred and sixty inches. Forces train each other in military methods, artillery fire, infantry tactics, and communications. Warfighters practice their navigation skills in a triple canopy jungle in which GPS is not always available. This forces Marines to employ traditional methods of relying on maps, compass bearings, and pacing to reach their destination, especially at night.

Maneuvering in dense jungle also proved difficult as troops struggled through thick foliage, streams, and mountainous terrain while adapting their tactics to the environment. The highlight of the training involved close quarter live fire sessions that dramatically instilled the sense of combat in the jungle.

The Aussies also provide this training to troops from Indonesia and the Philippines and offer a Junior Officers Jungle Operations Course.

One thing is for sure, the Marines won’t soon forget their rumble in the Aussie jungle.