The United States and Australia will step up their military cooperation, with Canberra offering U.S. forces increased access to Australian bases, according to news reports from Australia.
The increased cooperation will be announced Monday after talks between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and their Australian counterparts, according to reports in The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald.
The U.S. will not be getting new bases in Australia, but will have full access to Australian facilities, including "a share in all processes, such as access to intelligence and maintenance facilities," The Australian reported, citing unnamed sources close to the defense talks.
Military hardware and supplies will be positioned at Australian bases, "including large amounts of combat equipment for the typical U.S. Marine task force," the Herald reported.
Both papers said the cooperation will involve satellite tracking facilities designed to increase such coverage in the Southern Hemisphere. Recent North Korean missile test launches sent on a southern trajectory have lent new urgency to that initiative, the papers reported.
The two nations will also cooperate on combating cyber attacks, the papers said.
The U.S. military is expected to increase cooperation with other Asian allies, including India, Singapore and Indonesia, according to the reports.