Docstoc

Australia's top secret sites uncovered by Google Earth

Document Sample
Australia's top secret sites uncovered by Google Earth Powered By Docstoc
					Australia's top secret sites
uncovered by Google Earth
Save this story to read later

      by: Simon Crerar
      From: News Limited Network
      January 18, 201312:00PM




Top Secret sites: one of the world's biggest spy bases is located in the middle of Australia at Pine
Gap, NT. Picture: Google Earth Source: Supplied

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

Recommended Coverage
Top Secret Australia via Google Earth

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

AUSTRALIA's most secret sites are hidden well away from prying eyes, usually far from
major population areas. But no one escapes the all-seeing eye of Google.

Top Secret Sites




Top Secret sites: one of the world's biggest spy bases is located in the middle of central Australia
at Pine Gap, NT.Source: Supplied

As Australian and British foreign and defence officials meet in Perth today to discuss stronger
military ties, here's our virtual tour of Australia's most secret military and government sites.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: the new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation HQ in Canberra. Source:
Google EarthSource: Supplied

ASIO, ACT (spy agency HQ)
The new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation HQ in Canberra will house Australia's
national security service, responsible for protecting us from espionage, sabotage, attacks on the
Australian defence system and terrorism. ASIO officers have similar powers to the UK's Security
Service (M15), and do not carry guns.

Top secret sites
Top secret sites: Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne, the base of the Australian Special Air
Service. Photo: Google EarthSource: Supplied

Campbell Barracks, WA (SAS HQ)
Located in suburban Perth, the low-key army base in Swanbourne, has been the base of the
Australian Special Air Service (SAS) since the Regiment was established in 1957. Most training
takes place at Bindoon army base, northeast of Perth, which includes live-fire ranges, training
areas and an SAS mock-up area with 'embassy' building and sniper towers, but is impossible to
find on Google Maps.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: Christmas Island, offshore detention centre in the Indian Ocean. Source:
Google EarthSource: Supplied

Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (detention centre)
Home to 1500 Australian citizens, mostly of Chinese ethnicity, Christmas Island was a thriving
phosphate producer before transfer to Australian sovereignty in 1957. Since the MV Tampa
controversy in 2001, the island has been the primary goal of asylum seekers attempting to enter
Australia. Opened in 2006, the Immigration Detention Centre contains approximately 800 beds,
and cost $400m, double the estimated budget.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: Australian Defence Satellite Communications Ground Station at Kojarena, WA.
Source: Google EarthSource: Supplied

Kojarena, WA (defence satellite station)
The Australian Defence Satellite Communications Ground Station is located at Kojarena, 30 km
east of Geraldton. It is operated by the ADF Defence Signals Division, and houses five radomes
and eight satellite antennas linked to a worldwide satellite communication signals interception
system that is mainly operated by the US and UK.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: Maralinga, SA, site of seven secret British nuclear tests in the 1950s. Picture:
Google EarthSource: Supplied

Maralinga, SA (nuclear test site)
The ancient home of the Maralinga Tjarutja indigenous people, Maralinga was the site of seven
secret British nuclear tests in the 1950s, with four fission bomb tests followed by three tests of
triggering mechanisms. A Royal Commission in 1985 identified significant contamination at the
site. Native title was handed back to the traditional owners in January 1987 and efforts were
made to clean up the site before resettling the land in 1995.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: Nauru offshore detention centre in the Pacific Ocean. Source: Google
EarthSource: Supplied

Nauru, Pacific Ocean (detention centre)
Originally opened in 2001 to take people rescued by the MV Tampa, the detention centre on the
tiny island of Nauru was built to house 1200 asylum seekers in return for a pledge of $30m in
development funds. Closed by Kevin Rudd in December 2007, the camp was reopened by the
Gillard government in August 2012 to process record numbers of asylum seekers arriving by
boat.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: North West Cape, US Navy signals base near Exmouth, WA. Source: Google
EarthSource: Supplied

North West Cape, WA (US naval signals)
Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt is located 6km north of Exmouth, which was built
to provide support to the base and house dependent families of US Navy personnel. The base
provides very low frequency (VLF) radio transmission to US and Royal Australian Navy ships
and submarines in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and is the most powerful transmission station in
the Southern Hemisphere.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: Nurrungar, mothballed ballistic missile control site near Woomera, SA. Source:
Google EarthSource: Supplied

Nurrungar, SA (ballistic missile control)
Located on the edge of Island Lagoon, approximately 15 km south of Woomera, Nurrungar was
run by the ADF and the US Air Force from 1969 to 1999. It provided early detection of missile
launches and nuclear detonations via US satellites in geostationary orbits. Operations moved to
Pine Gap in 1999. Today the ADF uses the site for army tests.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: one of the world's biggest spy bases is located in the middle of Australia at Pine
Gap, NT. Source: Google EarthSource: Supplied

Pine Gap, NT (US listening post)
Probably the best known secret installation in Australia, Pine Gap near Alice Springs is one of
the biggest ECHELON signals intelligence facilities in the world, with an estimated 1000
employees. A former US National Security employee who worked at Pine Gap has claimed that
the facility is run by the CIA. Pine Gap controls American spy satellites as they fly over China,
North Korea, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: SIS and special forces training centre, Swan Island, Victoria. Source: Google
EarthSource: Supplied

Swan Island, VIC (special forces)
The Department of Defence does not discuss what goes on at Swan Island, and information on
the facility is not found on any government website. It is believed that Australia's Special Forces
carry out counter terrorism training here on a base shared with the Secret Intelligence Service.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: RAAF Scherger, advance air force base and detention centre. Far North
Queensland. Source: Google EarthSource: Supplied

Scherger, QLD (detention centre)
Villawood and Darwin are well known immigration detention centres, but did you know that up
to 600 asylum seekers at any one time are housed at a facility at RAAF Scherger in Far North
Queensland? One of three 'bare bases' in the tropics run by skeleton crews, Scherger is set up to
house 1400 personnel and 40 aircraft if Australia ever gets into a shooting war with one of our
northern neighbours.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: govenrment panic room in Symonston, suburban Canberra. Source: Google
EarthSource: Supplied

Symonston, ACT (government panic room)
Protected by heavy gates, security fences and an array of CCTV cameras on a nondescript
Canberra industrial estate, the main purpose of the classified facility at Symonston is believed to
be to provide an alternative communications facility for the Australian government. Under the
so-called "Plan Mercator", this is where the Prime Minister, Governor-General and advisers
would be whisked to in the event of a terrorist attack or threat against Parliament House.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: fast jets and visiting bombers are housed at RAAF Tindal, near Katherine, NT.
Source: Google EarthSource: Supplied

Tindal, NT (fast jets, stealth bombers)
Located near Katherine in the NT, RAAF Tindal houses the RAAF's fast jets outside the cyclone
zone at a site easy to defend against external attack. A key launching point for the Australian-led
intervention in East Timor in 1999, the base is also rumoured to host US stealth spy planes.

Top Secret sites
Top Secret sites: Woomera Test Range, SA, the largest weapons testing range in the world.
Source: Google EarthSource: Supplied

Woomera, SA (weapons tests, drones)
The Woomera Test Range in South Australia is a large weapons testing range operated by the
RAAF, 500km northwest of Adelaide. A prohibited area off-limits to the public, the range was
set up by Britain and Australia in 1946 and was the site for seven nuclear tests between 1955 and
1963 as well as tests for a wide range of conventional weapons before the Australian-Anglo joint
project ended in 1980. After a long period when it was effectively abandoned, the range is
currently used for ADF trials and leased to foreign militaries.

Top Secret Sites
Top Secret sites: British stealth drone bomber Taranis, undergoing testing in the Australian
outback in early-2013. Photo: BAESource: Supplied

Woomera is the most likely test site for new British stealth drone Taranis, which will be
conducting outback test flights in early 2013. At its peak the range covered 270,000 square km.
Today it covers 127,000 square km, and remains the world's largest weapons test range.

Simon Crerar is News Limited's Visual Story Editor, follow him at twitter.com/simoncrerar



http://www.news.com.au/travel/australia/australias-top-secret-sites-uncovered-by-google-
earth/story-e6frfq89-1226556475870
Top Secret sites: one of the world's biggest spy bases is located in the middle of central Australia
at Pine Gap, NT.
Top secret sites: Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne, the base of the Australian Special Air
Service. Photo: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: Maralinga, SA, site of seven secret British nuclear tests in the 1950s. Picture:
Google Earth
Top Secret sites: Woomera Test Range, SA, the largest weapons testing range in the world.
Source: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: fast jets and visiting bombers are housed at RAAF Tindal, near Katherine, NT.
Source: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: Nurrungar, mothballed ballistic missile control site near Woomera, SA. Source:
Google Earth
Top Secret sites: North West Cape, US Navy signals base near Exmouth, WA. Source: Google
Earth
Top Secret sites: North West Cape, US Navy signals base near Exmouth, WA. Source: Google
Earth
Top Secret sites: Australian Defence Satellite Communications Ground Station at Kojarena, WA.
Source: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: SIS and special forces training centre, Swan Island, Victoria. Source: Google
Earth
Top Secret sites: RAAF Scherger, advance air force base and detention centre. Far North
Queensland. Source: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: Nauru offshore detention centre in the Pacific Ocean. Source: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: Christmas Island, offshore detention centre in the Indian Ocean. Source:
Google Earth
Top Secret sites: govenrment panic room in Symonston, suburban Canberra. Source: Google
Earth
Top Secret sites: the new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation HQ in Canberra. Source:
Google Earth
Top Secret sites: one of the world's biggest spy bases is located in the middle of Australia at Pine
Gap, NT. Source: Google Earth
Top Secret sites: one of the world's biggest spy bases is located in the middle of Australia at Pine
Gap, NT. Source: Google Earth

http://www.news.com.au/travel/australia/australias-top-secret-sites-uncovered-by-google-
earth/story-e6frfq89-1226556475870

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:0
posted:1/29/2013
language:English
pages:34