The Minister for Defence, John Moore, today announced new cooperative arrangements between Australia and the United States for the operation of an automated, ballistic missile early warning system in Australia, following the closure of a 30 year old Joint Facility at Nurrungar in South Australia.
The Minister said that there would be a seamless transfer from Nurrungar to the new Relay Ground Station (RGS) located at a second Joint Facility at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
"The new arrangements announced today mean that Australia will continue to work with the United States in supporting global safeguards against attacks from long range ballistic missiles," Mr Moore said.
"The new Relay Ground Station will receive data from US Defense Support Program satellites and relay it, directly, to the United States."
The Minister said that the men and women who had served at Nurrungar over the past 30 years deserved special thanks.
"Through their hard work and dedicated service, they have paved the way for future chapters in Australia's positive partnership with the United States," Mr Moore said.
Today's closing ceremony marks the disbanding of two military units, Australia's No. 1 Joint Communications Unit and the US' No. 5 Space Warning Squadron. Both units paraded together in a tribute to the spirit of cooperation that existed in their integrated operations at Nurrungar.
Australian specialists will move to Colorado as part of a package of follow-on arrangements endorsed at the Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations held in July last year.