Report

Hiding from the light: The establishment of the Joint Australia-United States Relay Ground Station at Pine Gap

Richard Tanter

Nautilus | Published : 2019

Abstract

The author discusses recently released Australian cabinet papers dealing with a decision in September 1997 to allow the establishment of a Joint Australia-United States Relay Ground Station at Pine Gap to support two United States early warning satellite systems in place of its predecessor, the Joint Space Communications Facility at Nurrungar. The cabinet papers give a picture, albeit one muddied by censorship, of the Howard government’s consideration of ‘a U.S. request to continue Australian involvement in a U.S. space technological system to provide the U.S. with not only early warning of missile attack as a basis of nuclear deterrence, but also the capacity to target a retaliatory nuclear..

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