Defence representatives from Australia and the United States have attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at RAAF Base Darwin that marked the first project to be completed under the United States Force Posture Initiatives.
The US-funded 557 metre-square pre-engineered building will be used to store ground support equipment to support United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft operating in Australia under the US Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI).
Defence said the USFPI is an extension of Australia’s existing defence relationship with the US and provides security benefits for both countries by deepening interoperability, increasing engagement with regional partners, and better positioning both nations to respond to crises in the region.
The two nations have agreed to invest about $2 billion in infrastructure in the Northern Territory to enable the initiatives.
Director Logistics Air Command, Group Captain Grant Pinder, hosted US Brigadier General Jeffrey King (Director Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection Headquarters Pacific Air Forces) for the event.
“I am pleased to be part of this momentous occasion, and I expect the AMSF to be the first of many projects to come. Its success is indicative of the effort and collaboration between our two nations,” GEN King said.
GPCAPT Pinder said the facility would be used for tanker and cargo aircraft support equipment storage.
“It will ensure we can deliver a prompt response to disaster relief and humanitarian efforts,” GPCAPT Pinder said.
“This occasion also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the large amount of work by our two nations to achieve what we see today. It is great to be here with GEN King to mark this occasion.”
The facility has been constructed to support enhanced air cooperation activities, one of the two initiatives under the USFPI.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was also attended by US Navy Captain Tres Meek, Deputy Commander for Operations, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific, and Sunbuild director and construction manager Jim Eadie, whose company constructed the aircraft maintenance support facility.
“Sunbuild was very excited about the prospect to work with the US Department of Defense,” Eadie said.
“Being the first project rolled out between the US and an Australian company under the USFPI, it has provided many learning opportunities for Sunbuild to work with the US government.
“Opportunities like this will provide direct economic growth for the Top End.
“The most rewarding aspect of the project has been the support and strong relationships that have grown, whether this was in Canberra, Darwin, Guam or Honolulu. All concerned have put their heart and soul into making this pioneering project the success it is today.”
The next infrastructure project to be completed under the USFPI, which will be funded by Australia, will provide modular accommodation facilities at RAAF Base Darwin to support the other initiative under the USFPI – the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin.