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United States Force Posture Initiatives

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 invest about A$2 billion on a range of capital infrastructure works and supporting arrangements to assist with implementation of the Initiatives.

The economic benefits of the Initiatives include infrastructure projects and 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.

Local 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.

Current projects

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

Projects include:

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.

USAF Aircraft Parking Apron

Construction of an aircraft parking apron valued at US$24 million. This project was awarded to AECOM Construction, Inc., a US company. Construction commenced in late 2018.

USAF Bulk Fuel Storage Facility

Construction of a bulk fuel storage facility valued at US$62.585 million. This project was awarded to Nova Nacap Joint Venture. Construction will commence in 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 was completed in early 2020.

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.

This project is currently in the development phase. It is planned to start delivery in mid-2020 and continue through to late-2027. The delivery phase is subject to parliamentary approval.

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.

Robertson Barracks

USFPI Robertson Barracks Base Support Infrastructure Improvements

This project will deliver works to upgrade living-in accommodation, messing and gymnasium facilities to support the presence of the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D). This project is currently in the development phase and is subject to government approval. The Project Management/Contract Administration for this project is Jacobs.

Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges

USFPI Northern Territory Training Areas and Ranges Upgrades

This project will 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.

This project is currently in the development phase. The Managing Contractor is Sitzler.

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 beta.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 beta.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.