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Subject: remote bare bases
thruster    3/5/2009 7:18:40 PM
some questions for this esteemed gathering: Aust have a few essentially unmanned 'bare base' facilities in the very remote north. whilst not thinking of any particular adversary, what do you think the chances are of having those bases taken and used as a ready-supplied airbridge? i can appreciate why we want them, its very remote etc, but that feature also works as a geographical/logistical barrier. doesnt an empty military grade airstrip go to solving that? what do you think of a 'henderson field/guadalcanal' scenario eventuating? cheers.
 
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AdvanceAustralia    No worries   3/6/2009 2:57:54 PM
The bare bases were a legacy of the now discredited DOA (Defence of Australia) policy. This policy resulted from the 1987 White Paper which itself was drawn from the 1986 Dibb Report.
 
According to one of the Dibb Report's fanciful scenarios, any potential aggressor was supposed to give Australia 10 years notice prior to commencing a major attack. Plenty of time to beef up the base defences. http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/emwink.gif" align="absmiddle" border="0" alt="" />
 
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Aussiegunneragain    Thruster   3/8/2009 8:22:27 AM

some questions for this esteemed gathering:
Aust have a few essentially unmanned 'bare base' facilities in the very remote north. whilst not thinking of any particular adversary, what do you think the chances are of having those bases taken and used as a ready-supplied airbridge?
i can appreciate why we want them, its very remote etc, but that feature also works as a geographical/logistical barrier. doesnt an empty military grade airstrip go to solving that?
what do you think of a 'henderson field/guadalcanal' scenario eventuating?
cheers.

It would be easy for any potential adversary to take RAAF Curtain in Broome, Western Australia, if they maintained surprise. From what I've heard its only staffed by 4 caretakers so they would only need to land a battalion by Hercules to seize and hold it. There would be no prospect of the Hercs being intercepted either, as the nearest fighter squadron is a couple of thousand kilometres away in Darwin. Learmonth, about 1000km south would also be easy to take in a similar manner.
 
However, you have to ask yourself what part this could play in any sort of co-ordinated strategy to sieze part of Australia? While an enemy would be able to secretly prepare a couple of light battalions, maybe even brigades, to sieze these airbases, to exploit the bridgehead and control even just Western Australia let alone the entire country they would need to prepare a much larger, heavier force. I seriously doubt that anybody could raise that sort of force without us noticing as we have very strong intelligence capabilities in our region. In this instance would deploy forces to Curtain and the option would be closed to them. Also, if somebody did grab the bases they would have a hard time getting enough air defences, fuel for fighters etc in place before we bombed out the runway and left their troops stranded there without supplies.
 
The other point is that there is basically no reason for anybody in our region to try and grab those bases in the near future. True, Northern WA does have a lot of minerals, but invading it and trying to exploit them in the face of the Australian military would be more expensive and less reliable than just continuing to buy them from us. If our Government's strategic assessment of our region was to change and they did think that the North was under threat, then it is a lot quicker for them to do something about it with the bases there than without.
 
 
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