The Australian government said Wednesday that it will spend hundreds of millions to upgrade four strategic bases, in addition to conducting more war game exercises with the United States.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the nation would spend the equivalent of $580 million USD on the upgrades.
"Our objective is a free and open Indo-Pacific, to ensure a peaceful region – one that, at the same time, Australia is in a position to always protect its interests," Morrison said at a press conference.
Upgrades include an airstrip in the Northern Territory that will be overhauled to support larger aircraft, updated firing ranges, and new training facilities that will be shared with U.S. Marines. The expansion of war games with the U.S. will begin in August during the next scheduled exercises, which typically involve more than 30,000 personnel.
Australia also plans to spend $270 billion total over the next 10 years to improve its long-range strike capacities.
🔦 Although Morrison did not mention China in his statement, tensions between Australia and the communist nation have grown in recent years.