US-funded facility under USFPI opens at Darwin Base, Australia

3 December 2019 (Last Updated December 3rd, 2019 09:55)

A US-funded 557m² pre-engineered building, the first project to be completed under the United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI), has been inaugurated in Darwin military base in Eaton, Australia.

US-funded facility under USFPI opens at Darwin Base, Australia
US-funded facility under USFPI opens at RAAF Base Darwin, Australia. Credit: Petty Officer Peter Thompson / Defence News.

A US-funded 557m² pre-engineered building, the first project to be completed under the United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI), has been inaugurated in Darwin military base in Eaton, Australia.

The facility will be used to store ground support equipment for the United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft operating in Australia under the USFPI.

Australian Northern Territory company Sunbuild constructed the aircraft maintenance support facility (AMSF).

The USFPI is an extension of Australia’s Defence relationship with the US and provides security benefits for both countries through greater interoperability, engagement with regional partners and better positioning the two countries to respond to crises.

To enable the initiatives, both countries have agreed to invest $2bn in infrastructure in the Northern Territory.

US Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection Headquarters Pacific Air Forces director Brigadier General Jeffrey King said: “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.”

Logistics Air Command Group director Capt Grant Pinder said that the facility will be used for tanker and cargo aircraft support equipment storage.

Capt Pinder said: “It will ensure we can deliver a prompt response to disaster relief and humanitarian efforts. This occasion also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the large amount of work by our two nations to achieve what we see today.”

The facility supports enhanced air cooperation (EAC) activities under the USFPI.

EAC is intended to strengthen the ability of airforces of both countries to work together, and with regional partners to ensure regional stability and security.

It also aims to strengthen collaboration through the participation of US air elements in training activities and exercises with the Australian Defence Force.

Sunbuild director and construction manager Jim Eadie said: “Sunbuild was very excited about the prospect to work with the US Department of Defense.

“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.”

The next infrastructure project under the USFPI, to be funded by Australia, will provide accommodation facilities at RAAF Base Darwin for the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, the other initiative under USFPI.