United States commits to spend hundreds of millions more on NT Defence assets

On top of the A$429m committed for 2024, the United States’s total expenditure in the Northern Territory since President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Darwin in 2011 has passed the billon-dollar mark.

This includes the East Arm refuelling tank farm which will come in at about $200m when completed and the Marine Rotational Force which is based at Robertson Barracks during the Dry.

On top of its previous spending, the US has budgeted A$192.4m for new parking aprons at RAAF Base Darwin.

It’s understood the new aprons will be used by the US Navy for marine aircraft.



In addition, the USA Airforce has allocated about A$229m upgrading facilities at both RAAF Darwin and Tindal.

American Marine arrested over alleged assault and rape in Palmerston

An American Marine has been arrested and charged after allegedly raping a woman in Palmerston, near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

A US Defence Force spokesman confirmed a 20-year-old Marine was arrested by NT Police and charged with aggravated assault and sexual intercourse without consent.

A NT Police spokeswoman said the 20-year-old’s arrest on Monday, September 18, was in relation to an alleged incident in Palmerston that same day.


It is understood that all Marines at the Robertson Barracks are unable to leave or allow visitors on base, with the US Defence Force spokesman saying there was a “restricted liberty status” at the base.

American military becomes lead agency in Tiwi Islands Osprey crash investigation

The American military has taken over an investigation into the death of three Marines during a training exercise on a remote island off the Northern Territory.

NT Police were leading the response after a horror military aircraft crash on the Tiwi Islands on Sunday August 27.

There were 23 troops on board the tilt-rotor military aircraft when it went down, with the two pilots and crew chief understood to have sacrificed their lives to avert a catastrophic crash killing all on-board.

Under the Commonwealth Defence Visiting Forces Act, the Territory coroner was barred from holding an inquest into the three marines’ deaths with the initial reports passed onto the American authorities.

US Air Force mission planning operations centre for Darwin

A new US Air Force will build a "mission planning" and operations centre in Darwin, as part of $630 million in American spending across the top end over the next two to three years.

The "Squadron Operations Facility" in Darwin will add to its growing array of military assets in the north, raising fears Australia may be locked into any future military conflict between China and the USA.

The tender documents say the Squadron Operations facility in Darwin will be used for maintenance, mission planning, intelligence and crew briefings — it is budgeted to cost $US26 million ($40 million).

“Being able to organise and deploy forces outside of the dense missile attacks that China is likely to use against places like Guam and Okinawa is part of the strategic logic,”

'Not impossible': UK looks to British troops in Darwin

British soldiers based in Australia could be part of the next step to bringing the two military forces closer together.

UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said stationing British troops in Darwin, where US marines have a presence, was "not impossible" as his nation looked to expand its influence in the Pacific.

"It comes up quite regularly in conversation about what the Aussies and the US are doing up there and whether we should be there too," he said.

The minister said the UK was still in a discovery phase in the Pacific and military deployments to Australia were a better option than basing British troops on more contested territories in the region. He said the UK was working careful to expand its presence in the Pacific with concerns moving too fast or being too heavy handed might do more harm than good by alienating partner nations.