To support the United States Force Posture Initiatives, Australia and the United States will be investing around $2 billion (AUD) in Defence infrastructure and facilities at existing Defence sites in the Northern Territory.
Sites include RAAF Base Darwin, Robertson Barracks and RAAF Base Tindal, and training facilities at Kangaroo Flats, Bradshaw Field and Mt Bundey.
Projects include: airfield upgrades; accommodation upgrades (including physical fitness facilities, messes); and upgrades to training areas and ranges.
RAAF Base Darwin
Parking Apron, RAAF Base Darwin
Construction of a parking apron at RAAF Base Darwin, led by the United States Naval Facilities Command Pacific (NAVFAC PAC), was awarded to AECOM Construction, Inc. of Arlington Virginia in late May 2018.
Construction is expected to commence in late 2018.
The value of the project is $24 million (USD).
Aircraft Maintenance Support Facility (AMSF), RAAF Base Darwin
Construction of an Aircraft Maintenance Support Facility at RAAF Base Darwin, led by the United States Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific (NAVFAC PAC), was awarded to Sunbuild Pty Ltd in late July 2018.
Construction is expected to commence in late 2018.
The value of the project is $2.1 million (USD).
RAAF Base Tindal
Airfield upgrades, RAAF Base Tindal
Defence has announced Lendlease as the Managing Contractor for airfield works and associated infrastructure at RAAF Base Tindal.
This value of this project is estimated around $500m and is expected to commence construction in 2020.
NT Training Areas & Ranges
Defence Training Areas and Ranges in the NT
To support USFPI, Defence is planning to invest around $500m into Training Areas & Ranges in the NT.
The construction includes improvements at the Robertson Close Training Area, Kangaroo Flats Training Area; Mount Bundey Training Area; and Bradshaw Field Training Area.
The investment is principally targeted towards addressing existent Defence requirements at the four training areas. It is anticipated that, should the US require any additional, specialist, range infrastructure that the US would fund these improvements.
The project achieved 1st Pass Government Approval in 2017. Contingent on the necessary Departmental, Government and Parliamentary approvals being achieved, construction could start in 2020 and be complete by 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are Defence and the US investing in the NT?
- Having the Initiatives positioned in northern Australia supports interoperability and engagement within the region.
2. What USFPI construction projects are planned?
- To support the United States Force Posture Initiatives, Australia and the United States will be investing in Defence infrastructure and facilities at existing Defence sites in the Northern Territory.
- Sites include RAAF Base Darwin, Robertson Barracks and RAAF Base Tindal, and training facilities at Kangaroo Flats, Bradshaw Field and Mt Bundey.
- Projects include: airfield upgrades; accommodation upgrades (including physical fitness facilities, messes); and upgrades to training areas and ranges.
3. How much is the USFPI investment package?
- Australia and the United States will be investing around $2b (AUD) in Defence facilities and infrastructure.
- This package is being shared by Australia and the United States.
4. When will construction projects commence?
- The first project under the Force Posture Agreement (FPA) is likely to commence construction in 2018.
- The first project, being delivered by the United States Naval Facilities Command Pacific (NAVFAC PAC) involves construction at RAAF Base Darwin.
5. How long will construction projects span?
- Infrastructure projects under the Force Posture Agreement will span over the next 10 years.
6. What opportunities will become available?
- USFPI will offer exciting new opportunities and challenges for Australian industry, including the prospect of supporting the world’s most technically advanced armed forces.
- The associated infrastructure works will unlock many opportunities for a range of sectors and disciplines including construction, design, professional services, logistics, maintenance and transport.
7. Will there be opportunities for local suppliers?
- Australian Defence led projects will include Local Industry Capability Plans to ensure local industry participation is considered in the projects.
- Local Industry Capability Plans require tenderers bidding for major capital facilities projects to state clearly how they have engaged with local industry in providing their tendered solution, and how local industry will specifically be involved in delivering the work packages that underpin the project.
- Local Industry Capability Plans will provide a more consistent approach to maximising Australian and local industry involvement in Defence procurement of $4 million and above, recognising that Defence procures a range of different equipment, services, and support across many sectors of the Australian economy.
- While the US is not required to include Local Industry Capability Plans in their procurements, local suppliers will be considered if they meet requirements and can demonstrate value for money.
8. Can Australian suppliers tender for US procurements?
- Under the Force Posture Agreement, all infrastructure projects are subject to open procurements.
- Australian suppliers have the opportunity to compete for the United States procurements in the Northern Territory; however they will need to comply with United States procurement requirements that are set by the United States Government.
- It is important that Australian contractors competing for United States led projects familiarise themselves with United States contract requirements as they contain key differences to Australian contracts.
9. How are United States procurements run?
- United States procurements are subject to US laws and regulations.
- In many respects, the United States procurement process is similar to Australia’s procurement processes, with contracts being raised through an open tender process in which Australian and overseas companies are free to participate.
- Links to US procurement opportunities will be provided via the USFPI Website.
- The Australian Government respects the sovereignty of the US in their decision-making, and will have no influence over US procurements in Australia.
- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) is responsible for the delivery of the United States projects in Australia.
- The United States Naval Facilities Engineering Command has established a dedicated project office in Darwin to oversee and manage United States infrastructure projects under the Force Posture Agreement.
10. What are some the key differences in United States contracts?
- One of the specific differences in United States contracts relates to performance bonds.
- As per the applicable United States Federal Acquisition Regulations (which are broadly the equivalent of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules in Australia, but more expansive) the construction contractor may be required to provide a “Performance and Payment Bond” of up to 100 per cent of the contract value.
- Australian Defence contracts only require up to 5% of the value of the contract.
- The high level of financial bond required by the United States may be unfamiliar to Australian suppliers.
11. Who will own the upgraded infrastructure and facilities?
- Regardless of who is delivering the projects, Australia will retain ownership of all Defence infrastructure and facilities.
12. Can anything be done to change United States contracting requirements to better suit Australian Industry?
- As United States procurement process and contracts must comply with US Federal Acquisition Regulations, which are established under congressional law, there is very limited flexibility available to make changes to US contracts.
- Consistent with Australian procurement policies, all suppliers will need to compete for contracts and there will be no preferential treatment given to local or Australian suppliers.
13. How will Defence support Australian Industry?
- Defence will continue to engage with Australian Industry and support Australian suppliers to engage in Defence business.
- Defence aims to strengthen its collaborative relationship with Australian Industry to maximise on the opportunity presented through USFPI.
- Defence will unlock opportunities to support Australian Industry to learn about United States procurements and how to do business with the world’s most technically advanced armed forces.
14. When will be the next engagement opportunity with Defence?
- Throughout 2018, Defence will work with the United States, state and local Governments and Industry Networks to unlock further opportunities to share and learn lessons and support Australian Industry to mature business capability.
- For the latest events, check out the USFPI website
2018 Industry Day Resources
- Contracting with NAVFAC Pacific for U.S. Military Construction Projects in Australia
- Non-Price Evaluation
- Pathfinder Projects Lessons Learned
- Post Award Construction Requirements
- US Military Projects in Australia
2017 Industry Day Resources
- NAVFAC Pacific Overview
- Contracting with NAVFAC Pacific
- Legal considerations contracting with NAVFAC Pacific
- Non-Price Evaluation
- Post Award Construction Overview
- Registration Process for US procurement activities
- Visit Doing Business with Defence for more information on Defence industry programs, procurement and contracting.