RAAF Base Darwin

Welcome to RAAF Base Darwin

RAAF Base Darwin is located 6.5 km from the Darwin central business district on the Stuart Highway.

RAAF Base Darwin is considered to be a Forward Operating Base with year round activity. The central precinct of the Base is listed on the Register of National Estate. Some of the infrastructure throughout the base is heritage listed and dates back to when the Base was operational during World War II.

RAAF Base Darwin was established during World War II on 1 June 1940, and Japanese forces mounted two air raids on the city of Darwin on 19 February 1942. The Japanese launched from four air craft carriers in the Timor Sea, using 54 land-based bombers and approximately 188 attack aircraft. The second air raid was a high altitude attack on RAAF Base Darwin and the duration of this attack was some where between 20-25 minutes.

Today RAAF Base Darwin is a joint user airfield of approximately 400 personnel. It shares the runway with Darwin International Airport and supports lodger units and transient aircraft throughout the year. Major exercises are held in the Northern territory every year and RAAF Base Darwin has a major support role to facilitate these.

The notable exercises are:

  • Pitch Black
  • High Sierra
  • Diamond Storm

When flying, Air Force pilots and crews operate the aircraft in a way that minimises aircraft noise. Air Force has an honest and open approach about the noise experienced by residents living near our bases and training areas. Detailed information about aircraft noise, including Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) maps, is available at the Defence Aircraft Noise website or contact 1300 DEFENCE (1300 333 362).

To view major training exercises and flying activities see www.airforce.gov.au/flyingoperations


The following units operate on 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
  • Joint Task Force 639 Air Component Co-Ordination Element


Formed in June 1940, RAAF Base Darwin was very rapidly at the front line of Australia's defenses at the outbreak of war in the Pacific.

Darwin and its satellite fields housed a multitude of Australian and US units, operating throughout the South-West Pacific.

Following the end of World War II, Darwin became an important transit stop for military movements throughout Asia, including use as a transport hub to support operations in Vietnam.

Today, Darwin's main operations occur during Defence exercises.

Contact Us

Postal address

RAAF Base Darwin
PO Box 13
Winnellie NT 0820


Air Base Command Post: (08) 8923 8888
Media enquiries: (02) 6127 6199