RAAF Base Darwin

RAAF Base Darwin is one of the Air Force's main forward mounting bases. It is located 6.5 km north-east of Darwin, and shares the runway with Darwin International Airport.

Major exercises are held in the Northern Territory every year, with RAAF Base Darwin undertaking a major support role. Notable exercises include Pitch Black and Diamond Storm.

In residence

The following are based at RAAF Base Darwin.

  • No 114 Mobile Control Reporting Unit
  • Headquarters 452 Squadron
  • No 452 Squadron Darwin Flight
  • No 2 Security Forces Darwin Flight
  • No 13 City of Darwin Squadron
  • US Marine Rotation Force Darwin Air Combat Element
  • Chief Information Officer Group - Communications Security
  • Security and Estate Group RAAF Darwin
  • Darwin Health Centre
  • No 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron Detachment Darwin

Bradshaw Field Training Area

RAAF Base Darwin is responsible for Bradshaw Field Training Area, which is a former cattle station used for training and joint operations activities.

It occupies approximately 870,000 hectares, starting 500 metres north of the settlement of Timber Creek. A large dirt airstrip capable of operating transport aircraft

Community consultation

RAAF Base Darwin is a standing member of the Darwin International Airport Community Consultation Group. The group meets 3 times a year to discuss community issues arising from airport operations and developments, including aircraft and environmental issues.

Noise mitigation

Noise abatement procedures and strategies for RAAF Base Darwin are outlined in the RAAF Base Darwin Aircraft Noise Management Plan.


RAAF Base Darwin Aircraft Noise Management Plan (PDF 564.66 KB)


Additionally, formations of jets returning to RAAF Base Darwin conduct an initial and pitch recovery procedure at 610m above ground level. This enables large numbers of military fast jet aircraft to be recovered in the minimum time at the highest altitude, thus reducing the noise impact.

Flying schedule

The following generate flying activity:

  • US Marines spending 6 month rotations in northern Australia and have an aviation support contingent based at RAAF Base Darwin. Aircraft are utilised for the US Marine rotations.
  • Exercise Pitch Black is held every 2 years in airspace over Bradshaw Field Training Area and the Delamere Air Training Area.
  • Exercises Diamond Storm and Talisman Sabre are training activities held every 2 years held between May and July and include flying training.

Flying areas

The map below identifies the flying areas utilised by RAAF Base Darwin.