Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong have welcomed US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III to Brisbane for the 33rd Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) today.
AUSMIN is the primary forum at which Australia and the United States set the strategic direction for the Australia-US Alliance.
The senior members of the Biden-Harris administration converged in Brisbane, with Austin travelling from Port Moresby after talks with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape and Blinken travelling from Wellington and Tonga on a whistlestop tour of the Pacific.
Most notable of the visits were Austin arriving in a Boeing E-4B aircraft, colloquially referred to as the ‘Doomsday’ plane.
The E-4B serves as the National Airborne Operations Center. In case of national emergency or destruction of ground command and control centers, the aircraft provides a highly survivable command, control and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders and coordinate actions by civil authorities.
Survivability capabilities include protection from the effects of electromagnetic pulse and shielding from nuclear and thermal effects.
At AUSMIN 2023, Australia and the United States will discuss ways to deepen collaboration across the breadth of the relationship, including on defence and security cooperation, climate and clean energy, and economic resilience.
Australia will continue to work with our partners, including the United States, to build a region that is peaceful, stable and prosperous, including through the longstanding US Force Posture Initiatives in Australia.Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP
Following AUSMIN, Deputy Prime Minister Marles and Secretary Austin will travel to north Queensland where Australian and US military personnel are taking part in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 with counterparts from 11 partner nations.