From employing hundreds of Aussies to playing a key role in the US defence missile shield. Pine Gap’s secrets are slowly starting to emerge. It is considered one of the country’s most secretive and strategically important sites. But unless you work at Pine Gap, or have spent decades researching what really goes on here, your knowledge about it is probably fairly limited. And forget taking a tour to learn more about it because you’re not even getting close to seeing inside.
marked the 50th anniversary of the facility which has conjured up its share of
supporters and critics. It maintains as
big a presence in Central Australia as Uluru. Except Uluru is open to tourism
and Pine Gap only to a select 1000 or so workers.
much do we really know about this significant site? Most Australians really don’t know all that
much about it. It remains one of the
most important intelligence facilities outside of the United States today.
AND WHAT IS IT
both Australia and the United States, its official name is the Joint Defence
Facility Pine Gap. Located about 20km
from Alice Springs, the site is considered strategically vital by both the US
and Australian governments.
Pine Gap collects a huge amount of data from signals intelligence as well as
providing information on early warning of ballistic missile launches.
basically acts as a satellite tracking station and its remote location makes
intercepting signals emitted from within more difficult to decipher.
DOESN’T CONTROL UFOS
conjures up images of secrecy and power and has attracted the odd conspiracy
theory or two. But contrary to some ideas, it has nothing to do with flying
saucers, nor does it contain dozens of elaborate tunnels.
HAS A HUGE AMOUNT OF COMPUTERS
thing researchers know does exist is the huge amount of PC power inside the
facility. The floor space of the site’s computer room, or operations building,
has grown massively since the 1970s and now takes up a room the size of the
entire playing field of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It has grown from 400sq m to 20,000 sq m in
less than 50 years.
DO WORK HERE
employs around 1000 people. Australians are
“completely enmeshed into the management structure at the station”. Almost half of the workers are locals, which
includes government personnel, operations workers, AFP Protective Services
officers, as well as Australian contractors.
GOVERNMENT LOVES IT
a critical contribution to the security interests of Australia and the United
States, delivering information on intelligence priorities such as terrorism,
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and military and weapons
developments, while contributing to the verification of arms control and
To learn more about this complex visit our museum at 1 Bent Street, Concord on Saturday, 2nd November at 1:30 for 2:00 pm start to hear David Rosenberg tell us more. See poster under “Guest Speakers” in side column for full details. Please feel free to forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.
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