RAAF Base Darwin fuelled up for expanded US presence

A US-funded fuel facility has been completed at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin in northern Australia to support the planned deployment of US military aircraft as part of Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) between both countries.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 30 October that construction of the new fuel facility was completed in June 2023.

“The newly completed fuel facility enhances operational capabilities and support for training exercises and is a significant investment under the United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI) infrastructure programme,” the DoD stated.

The facility was revealed in a joint statement by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and US President Joe Biden in October, and is valued at approximately US$76 million.

According to the DoD, the project was managed by United States Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Pacific and performed by a US-Australian joint venture firm Nova Nacap JV.

“The project aligns with the government’s response to the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) to increase preparedness, invest in our northern infrastructure network, and deliver resilient fuel solutions,” the DoD added.

Nova Nacap JV is understood to have constructed two 8,000,000 litre bulk fuel storage tanks with pump vaults, a truck unloading and loading gantry, filter equipment, as well as an operations facility with an attached laboratory at RAAF Base Darwin.

“Defence has engaged extensively with the United States on this project ensuring we have the enablers in place to best support activities under the Force Posture Agreement,” said Deputy Secretary Security and Estate Celia Perkins.

“Infrastructure to support USPFI is located across the Defence estate, including at Robertson Barracks and RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal, as well as training areas across the Northern Territory,” added Perkins.

by JrNg