Currently dispersed among four bases in the region, the new base will be home to the RAAF’s AP-3C Orions and C-130H/J Hercules based in the region, and will become the main cargo, equipment and personnel movement hub for Australian forces deploying to and returning from the region.
About 500 Australian personnel will be located at the new base, and capacity for a further 500 personnel transitting through has been provided. It is Australian government policy to not disclose the location of its bases in the Persian Gulf region bases in deference to the host nations’ wishes.
Believed to be the furthest south of the four bases currently being used, the new base gives better access to the air routes around Iranian airspace into Afghanistan, as well as for the AP-3Cs conducting anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. “With the change in government the focus shifted to Afghanistan,” the base commander, WGCDR Peter Davis, told AAP. “The big problem we have had is we have still had our support network set up as if we were in Iraq.”
Sharing the base will be UK, Canadian, US, New Zealand, Dutch and other forces.