Saturday, November 19, 2005
In a joint agreement by Australia and the United States, the U.S. Air Force will begin regular strategic bomber aircraft training in the Northern Territory early next year. At the recent high-level AUSMIN talks between the U.S. and Australia it was announced that the strategic bomber training program would involve B-52 and B-1 bombers and the B-2 stealth aircraft.
Under the new arrangements aircraft would fly direct from the United States for bombing operations at the Delamere Air Weapons Range situated about 130km south-west of [[w:Katherine, Northern Territory|Katherine}} in the Northern Territory. Delamere is a 211,000ha bombing range used regularly by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for dropping live weapons. The Darwin RAAF base would also be available for the bombers to land and refuel if necessary. The planes will fly to the Northern Territory from the U.S. Pacific Island base of Guam.