Great news at The Australian:
Australia will step up its strategic push in the Indo-Pacific with a $1.1bn upgrade to RAAF Base Tindal in the Top End, to fast-track the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter rollout and provide a forward operating base for US aircraft, including strategic bombers.
The announcement, signed off by the national security committee of cabinet last week, marks a significant expansion in the reach of air force capability into the region and signals a more assertive Australia-US posture as China continues to expand its strategic footprint into the region.
The Australian understands that major runway extensions, fuel stockpiles and engineering will be designed to support “Code E” large aircraft, such as US Air Force B-52 strategic bombers and RAAF KC-30 air-to-air refuellers to operate out of one of the country’s most strategically significant airbases, located at Katherine in the Northern Territory.
Bravo. It’s not that I’m any fan of arms races or warfare in general. Cripes.
But the CCP’s push south doesn’t leave a whole of choice if you want to bulwark our liberal democracy with something more substantial than marshmellows.