The RAN already has a base in Darwin, but it’s a small one that at present accommodates just nine small patrol boats. The Australian defense ministry in 2019 launched a $200 million project aimed at expanding the Darwin base with additional fuel storage and another wharf so that it can support large surface vessels and submarines.
THE Territory could be considered to host new military exercises with Australian and US troops, given its current relationship with the ally and multimillion-dollar defence upgrades announced earlier this year.
Australia and the US are in discussions about plans for new exercises in Australia, including joint training with American army soldiers.
The proposed exercises would be modelled on Darwin’s annual Marine Rotational Force and would use a variety of military training areas, according to The Australian.
It is not known yet what training areas are of interest but the Northern Territory is a likely candidate given its long history with the US.
Queensland is another candidate.
Australia and the US are in talks to deepen their military co-operation, with plans for new exercises on Australian soil including joint training with American army soldiers.
The proposed exercises with the US army would be modelled on the annual rotation of Marines through Darwin, and use a variety of military training areas including those in Queensland.
The Morrison and Biden administrations are also in the midst of delicate negotiations to build guided missiles in Australia using top-secret US technology, and store US weapons and equipment at Top End bases.
Mr Dutton agreed there was scope to increase the size of the US marine rotational force in the Top End from its pre-COVID level of 2,500, and to base US navy vessels at HMAS Stirling near Perth. acting US ambassador Michael Goldman declined to comment on whether more American marines could soon be heading to Australia.
THE United States’ combat logistics support agency is moving on plans for a multimillion dollar fuel farm facility in Darwin for its fighter jets and warships.
The fuel reserve is being established in Darwin to ensure US war machines are not left stranded if fuel supply lines are disrupted.
DLA Energy is seeking information on “industry capabilities/interest/potential sources for the receipt, storage, and issue 1.2 million barrels of aviation turbine fuel, grade JP5 (fill capacity), and 700,000 barrels of commercial jet fuel, grade jet A-1 (fill capacity), in the Port of Darwin, Australia.”
It also seeks information from interested companies on their service capabilities for receiving and shipping US government-owned product via an ocean-going tanker or barge on a 24-hour per day, seven-day per week basis.