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United States Force Posture Initiatives

USFPI Infrastructure

Map of Northern Australia showing locations of RAAF Base Darwin, Robertson Barracks Close Training Area, Kangaroo Flats, RAAF Base Tindal, Mount Bundey Training Area and Bradshaw Field Training Area

The Australian and US governments have agreed to a significant joint investment in a range of capital infrastructure works and supporting arrangements to assist with implementation of the Initiatives.

The economic benefits of the Initiatives include the construction of the infrastructure projects as well as spending associated with supporting and maintaining infrastructure, facilities and equipment.

Australia and the US are investing in infrastructure and facilities at existing Defence sites in the Northern Territory. Sites include:

  • RAAF Base Darwin,
  • Robertson Barracks,
  • RAAF Base Tindal, and
  • Training areas and ranges in the Northern Territory:
    • Robertson Barracks Close Training Area,
    • Mount Bundey Training Area,
    • Kangaroo Flats, and
    • Bradshaw Field Training Area.

USFPI projects will develop:

  • parking aprons,
  • aircraft maintenance and support facilities,
  • fuel storage,
  • accommodation upgrades,
  • physical fitness facilities,
  • messes, and
  • upgrades to training areas and ranges.

The works will unlock many opportunities for a range of sectors and disciplines including construction, design, professional services, logistics, maintenance and transport.

Following extensive cost sharing discussions, Australia and the US have agreed to fund and deliver separate projects. Once built, permanent buildings constructed by the US become the property of Australia.

US-funded projects are managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific on behalf of the US Department of Defense.

Industry opportunities

The Initiatives’ projects funded by the Australian Department of Defence include Local Industry Capability Plans (LICPs) to help maximise local industry participation. These LICPs require tenderers bidding for major capital facilities projects to outline their approach to ensuring that full, fair and reasonable opportunity is afforded to local industry in the delivery of the project.

While the US is not required to include LICPs in their procurements, local suppliers are able to compete for US construction contracts as part of the Initiatives.

Projects underway

Projects are delivered under the Initiatives as they are given government approval. Timeframes, costs and schedules are released on a project-by-project basis.

RAAF Base Tindal

United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI) RAAF Base Tindal Airfield Works and Associated Infrastructure

This project will deliver works to support the operation of the RAAF KC30A Multi Role Tanker aircraft. The works will provide increased capacity to support air-to-air re-fueling operations. In addition, the works will support the operation of US aircraft under the Initiatives.

Construction commenced in mid-2020 and will continue through to late-2027. The Managing Contractor for this project is Lendlease.

USAF Earth Covered Magazines

In May 2020, the United States Naval Facilities Command Pacific awarded Australian company, Icon SI Pty Ltd, a contract worth more than US$10 million to construct an earth-covered magazine facility at RAAF Base Tindal. The project will construct two ECM’s and a production area that will include a munitions assembly conveyor shelter to support United States and Australian military joint training activities. Work will be performed at RAAF Base Tindal with an expected completion date of February 2022.

RAAF Darwin

USAF Bulk Fuel Storage Facility

Construction of a bulk fuel storage facility valued at US$76 million. This project was awarded to Nova/Nacap, an Australian/US Joint Venture. Construction commenced in 2020 and is expected to be completed in mid-2023.

Robertson Barracks

USFPI Robertson Barracks Base Support Infrastructure Improvements

This project will deliver works to upgrade, replace or complement living-in accommodation, messing and physical fitness facilities to support the presence of the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D). This project is in the development phase and construction is subject to government approval.

Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges

USFPI Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges Upgrades

An investment of $747m will see this project deliver upgrades to range facilities and associated infrastructure at Robertson Barracks Close Training Area, Kangaroo Flats Training Area, Mount Bundy Training Area and Bradshaw Field Training Area. The Northern Territory-based company Sitzler has been appointed as the Managing Contractor and construction has commenced. The upgrades will:

  • modernise facilities that are at or beyond life of type,
  • support training requirements of the future ready force, and
  • ensure reliable access to suitable Training Areas and ranges.

Robertson Barracks Close Training Area - Urban Operations Training Facility
Artist’s impression of Urban Operation Training Facility, Robertson Barracks Close Training Area

Completed projects

RAAF Base Darwin

USAF Aircraft Maintenance Support Facility

Construction of an Aircraft Maintenance Support Facility (AMSF) valued at US$1.8 million. This project was awarded to Sunbuild, a local Northern Territory business. Construction was completed in late 2019.

US Navy Captain Tres Meek, Group Captain Grant Pinder, USAF Brigadier General Jeffrey King and Sunbuild’s Jim Eadie at the opening ceremony of the new facility at RAAF Base Darwin. Photo: Petty Officer Peter Thompson
US Navy Captain Tres Meek, Group Captain Grant Pinder, USAF Brigadier General Jeffrey King and Sunbuild’s Jim Eadie at the opening ceremony of the new facility at RAAF Base Darwin. Photo: Petty Officer Peter Thompson

USAF Aircraft Parking Apron

Construction of an aircraft parking apron valued at US$28.6 million. This project was awarded to AECOM Construction, Inc., a US company which sub-contracted multiple Australian companies. Construction was completed in late 2020.

USFPI Modular Accommodation

Construction of modular living-in accommodation valued at A$13.4 million. This project was awarded to Tiwi Partners, an Indigenous company. Construction commenced in 2019 and was completed in early 2020.

Completed modular accommodation at RAAF Base Darwin. (Image courtesy of Tiwi Partners)
Completed modular accommodation at RAAF Base Darwin. (Image courtesy of Tiwi Partners)

Procurement

Under the Force Posture Agreement, all infrastructure projects are subject to open procurements.

Australian suppliers have the opportunity to compete for US procurements in the Northern Territory. It is important that Australian contractors competing for US-led projects familiarise themselves with US contract requirements as they contain key differences to Australian contracts.

US contracting opportunities are released via a system called SAM.gov. This is similar to the AusTender system used in Australia.

Australian and US tendering processes differ, with separate legislative requirements.

The table below provides a comparison of Australian and US procurement and contracting methods:
  Australia United States
Government tender organisation AusTender SAM.gov
Procurement regulation Commonwealth Procurement Rules Federal Acquisition Regulations
Quality management guide Defence Estate Quality Management System Whole Building Design Guide

Questions and feedback

We welcome industry feedback related to USFPI infrastructure to help Defence and the US better understand industry views and challenges. Defence will consider feedback provided in the development of strategies aimed at assisting Australian industry to maximise opportunities presented through the Initiatives.

You can contact USFPI Infrastructure using the email address below:

usfpi.facilities.infrastructure@defence.gov.au

Access the links below for more information about doing business with the Australian Department of Defence or the US:

Doing Business with Defence

Find information about contracting with the Australian Department of Defence.

Doing Business with the US

Find information about contracting with the US.