NMD/Star Wars/Pine Gap


Richmond RAAF Base is a direct connection with the US spy base at Pine Gap near Springs. Richmond RAAF host a detachment of USAF Air Mobility Support Squadron its precise designation is Det. 1, 635th Air Mobility Support Squadron.

General information

This detachment coordinates the support of US military tasks in Australia. These include supplying Pine Gap and the other bases with materiel and personnel, as well with the increase activity by the US with their Navy visits and supplying US military exercises in various parts of Australia. This base will be very active next year during 'Talisman Sabre 2007' the huge US-Australian military exercise due next year around June.

The Stewart Royal Commission found that the US Military Airlift Command (the precursor to Air Mobility Support Squadron) was used to allow operatives of the Nugan Hand Bank (NHB) to travel freely in and out of Australia.

Richmond RAAF Base 2Royal Commission of inquiry into the activities of the Nugan Hand Bank was held in 1985.

Australia's most famous front company for drug runners was the Nugan Hand Bank (NHB).

Founded in 1973 the NHB was established by the CIA as a conduit to handle funds for its campaign against the Whitlam Government. After 1975 the CIA used the bank to channel millions of dollars for secret operations in Cuba, Latin America and Asia. Types of Aircraft

Traditionally the USAF has used Starlifters and huge Galaxy aircraft to fulfil its airlift needs but now it has the newer Globemaster 111 aircraft. The Australian Airforce is going to purchase some of these Globemaster aircraft.

Globemaster 111 description: The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest purpose-built cargo aircraft to enter the United States and Western air forces. It is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. This aircraft is also capable of performing tactical airlift and airdrop missions when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improves the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.

Richmond RAAF Base

The ultimate measure of airlift effectiveness is the ability to rapidly project and sustain an effective combat force close to a potential battle area. In recent years the size and weight of U.S. mechanized firepower and equipment have grown, which has significantly increased air mobility requirements, particularly in the area of large or heavy outsize cargo. As a result, newer and more flexible airlift aircraft such as the C-17 are needed to meet potential armed contingencies, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide.

Frequency of Flights

The AABCC has been unable to secure accurate USAF aircraft movements through Richmond from the Australian Government. Instead we have to rely on the Anti-Bases Campaign in NZ who keep a regular check on Harewood airport which the USAF uses before they reach their first Australian touch down. Since the early 90's the numbers of craft has been steadily falling as most information is transferred via satellite.

In 2003-04 there were 16 flights via Harewood to Australia (Richmond) and in 20003-05 there were 6. What we do not know is that the USAF may fly directly into Australia without landing in NZ. At present we can only account for USAF landing once every 2 months!

Poster of Richmond Airbase Rally 1980In the 80's there were two or three flights per week which when totalled with the return journey could be 4 or 6 times a week a USAF plane would be landing at Richmond. With the closure of North West Cape and Nurrungar the number of flights declined rapidly. The frequency picks up if there are a number of US Navy ships in town or in the case of military exercise.

Click here for an account of the Richmond protest held on Sunday April 6, 2003 held just before the Iraq War.

Sucessful Richmond demonstration held on October 8th 2006