RAAF Base Scherger

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RAAF Base Scherger
Near Weipa, Queensland in Australia
RAAF Base Scherger gate (5423526507).jpg
Gate to RAAF Scherger
RAAF Base Scherger YBSG is located in Queensland
RAAF Base Scherger YBSG
RAAF Base Scherger
Location in Queensland
Coordinates12°37′24″S 142°05′12″E / 12.62333°S 142.08667°E / -12.62333; 142.08667Coordinates: 12°37′24″S 142°05′12″E / 12.62333°S 142.08667°E / -12.62333; 142.08667
TypeMilitary air base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
Operator Royal Australian Air Force
WebsiteRAAF Base Scherger
Site history
In use5 August 1998 (1998-08-05) – present
Garrison information
Occupants'Bare base'
Airfield information
IdentifiersICAO: YBSG
Elevation44 metres (145 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
12/30 3,049 metres (10,003 ft) Asphalt
Sources: AIP[1]

RAAF Base Scherger (IATA: YBSG) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military air base located approximately 26 km (16 mi) east of Weipa on the western side of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia. One of three 'bare bases' completing a chain of bases across Australia’s 'top end', the base is occupied by a caretaker staff and can be activated at relatively short notice. The base was constructed by troops drawn mainly from the 17th Construction Squadron, in what is believed to have been the biggest project undertaken by the Royal Australian Engineers at the time.

Opened on 5 August 1998 by the Prime Minister, John Howard,[2] the base was named in honour of Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger who was the Australian Chief of the Air Staff (now known as Chief of Air Force) from March 1957 to May 1961[3] and the equivalent of what is now Chief of the Defence Force from 1961 to 1966.

Role and facilities[edit]

As a 'bare base' Scherger's role is to provide the RAAF and other services with the necessary infrastructure to support forward deployed forces during a crisis. While the base has facilities to cater for 400 personnel in fixed accommodation, 1,000 personnel in tent lines and about 40 aircraft, it is normally only manned by four Air Force personnel who are responsible for caretaker duties.[3] During peacetime RAAF Base Scherger hosts, on average, one major exercise per year in which the base is fully activated through the arrival of RAAF units based elsewhere in Australia.[4][5]

Scherger Immigration Detention Centre[edit]

In October 2010, the Scherger Immigration Detention Centre was opened at Scherger RAAF Base, and this facility provided accommodation for 300 single adult males;[3][6] with a maximum capacity of 596 males.[7] The centre closed in 2014.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ YBSG – Scherger (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 08 November 2018
  2. ^ "Prime Minister Opens RAAF Base Scherger". Sapper News: The Royal Australian Engineers Newsletter. 8 (2): 1–3. August 1998.
  3. ^ a b c Dodd, Mark (18 September 2010). "'Ghost' RAAF defence base Scherger a bare-bones facility". The Australian. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  4. ^ "RAAF Base Scherger" (PDF). Department of Defence. Australian Government. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  5. ^ Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (1999). "Chapter 2: Northern Territory" (PDF). Report of Visit to Defence Establishments in Northern Australia. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Weipa residents revolt over plans for 300 asylum seekers at nearby Scherger RAAF base". The Sunday Mail. Queensland. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  7. ^ "ADF refugee role attacked". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  8. ^ Ireland, Judith (14 January 2014). "Scott Morrison announces closure of four immigration detention centres". Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. Retrieved 30 July 2015.

External links[edit]