defence connect logo



Runway extension, aircraft parking upgrades completed at strategic Nackeroo Airstrip

A No. 35 Squadron C-27J Spartan delivers those attending the official handover of the Nackeroo Airstrip. Photo: SGT Andrew Eddie

Critical runway extension and aircraft parking upgrades have been completed at Nackeroo Airstrip in the Northern Territory.

Critical runway extension and aircraft parking upgrades have been completed at Nackeroo Airstrip in the Northern Territory.

The upgrades are expected to allow greater training opportunities to conduct enhanced land and air operations between Australia and the United States militaries, at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in the NT.

The upgrades include the extension of the runway and adding parking positions for aircraft, including C-17A Globemaster and MV-22 Osprey aircraft, providing an increase to the capacity and capability for Australia and the US, as part of our force posture cooperation, out of the Bradshaw Field Training Area.


Traditional owners conducted a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony to mark the completion of works and to recognise the 20th anniversary of the site’s Indigenous Land Use Agreement.

“The works at Bradshaw Field Training Area will enhance training opportunities between Australia and the United States with C-17 Globemaster and MV-22 Osprey aircraft now being able to land at the airstrip on a more regular basis and carrying heavier loads,” Air Commodore Ron Tilley, director general of capital facilities and infrastructure branch for Defence, said.

“This handover also builds upon Defence’s relationship with the local traditional owners of Bradshaw with whom Defence has a longstanding and collaborative Indigenous Land Use Agreement.”

The Nackeroo Airstrip upgrade is a major component of the $747 million United States Force Posture Initiatives Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges Project. The project will deliver essential upgrades to facilities and infrastructure at four Defence training areas in the NT.

The project will also provide a new medical facility, a 250-person training camp, urban operations training facility, accommodation camp and road upgrades at the Bradshaw Field Training Area.

The works continue to build on the priorities of the 2024 National Defence Strategy, including the delivery of a networked and resilient set of bases, predominantly across Northern Australia, strengthening Australia’s national resilience and focusing Defence’s international engagement efforts on enhancing interoperability and collective deterrence.

The Defence Strategic Review 2023 reinforced the importance of the territory to Australia’s national security. The NT is considered an important part of the Indo-Pacific region from an economic and regional stability standpoint, making it a strategic location for Defence. With a significant navy, army and air force presence in the NT, Defence continues to be a consistent contributor to economic activity, providing stimulus to local businesses and supporting regional employment.

The federal government has announced that around $3.8 billion will be allocated to harden, improve and operate the nation’s northern Australian Defence Force bases. More than $2 billion will reportedly be spent in the NT from that amount.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!