PACIFIC OCEAN --
Liam Street, a native of Hobart Tasmania and a captain in the Australian Regular Army, is serving in the most unique position of his 13-year career. Through the Marine Corps Foreign Exchange Program, Street is serving as the executive officer of the All-Domain Reconnaissance Detachment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The exchange program allows service members of various countries an opportunity to integrate among United States armed forces units to strengthen relationships and to promote interoperability between services. Focusing on integration, foreign service members fill billets as pilots, military occupational specialty instructors or, in the case of Street.
“Each country gets to decide where they want to focus the exchange,” said Street. “For the Australian Army we have three billets that are designed to be in a deployable amphibious force.”
During the 1987 Fiji coup, the Australian defense force found deficiencies in the ability to project their force and undertake amphibious operations. Since then, in addition to acquiring new amphibious platform ships, the Australian defense force has participated in the exchange program forging an opportunity for U.S. Marines and Australian counterparts to collaborate and improve the amphibious operations for both nations.
“I think we are more similar than we are different, and I think that’s why we work so well together especially now that we are developing more of an amphibious capability,” said Street. “We rely on past experiences from the Marine Corps perspective to teach us the history and how to best employ our own assets.”
Street has been involved in the planning and execution of training and real-world operations during the 15th MEU’s 2021 Western Pacific deployment (WESTPAC-21).
“Working with Capt. Street has been rewarding because he brought a unique perspective to the ADR and proved to be an asset in every facet,” said Capt. Christian Cole, the reconnaissance element commander of the ADR Det., 15th MEU. “His tactical, planning, and administrative powers completed the position he was in and we quickly learned how much of a force multiplier he would be during the demanding workup and subsequent WESTPAC-21 deployment. I am grateful for the opportunity to have shared and learned amphibious reconnaissance tactics techniques and procedures from a partnered force rooted in history and tradition, much like our own; I am hopeful that our shared experiences can positively influence the 2nd Royal Australian Regiment.”
Street is slated to return to Australia after two years with the 15th MEU, taking with him impressions of the Marine Corps amphibious operations while leaving a lasting impression on the Marines he has worked with during his time in the exchange program.