Robertson Barracks

Coordinates: 12°26′42″S 130°58′28″E / 12.44500°S 130.97444°E / -12.44500; 130.97444
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Robertson Barracks
Knuckey Lagoon
Municipality of Litchfield
Northern Territory
Brigadier John Frewen inspects MRF-D personnel, 2014
Coordinates12°26′42″S 130°58′28″E / 12.44500°S 130.97444°E / -12.44500; 130.97444
TypeAustralian Army base
Site information
OwnerAustralia Australia
Controlled byAustralia Australia
Site history
Garrison information
GarrisonAustralia 1st Brigade
Australia 1st Aviation Regiment
Australia B Coy, 1st Military Police Battalion
Australia Joint Movements Control Office – Darwin
Australia Joint Logistics Unit (North)
United States United States Pacific Command
United States Marine air-ground combined arms force
Airfield information
IdentifiersICAO: YRBK
Elevation32 m (105 ft) AMSL

Robertson Barracks is a major Australian Army base located in Holtze, an outer suburb of Darwin, Northern Territory, around 15 km (9.3 mi) east of the Darwin city centre.


Robertson Barracks was built during between 1989 and 2001.[1]

The barracks was named after Lieutenant General Sir Horace Robertson, commander of the 1st Armoured Division and 6th Division during the Second World War, and later Commander in Chief British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.[2]

The "Atomic Tank" was a Centurion tank which was placed 500 m (1,600 ft) from ground zero of a 10Kt atomic bomb test at Woomera in 1953. It was damaged but still driveable, was repaired and served in Vietnam, before being used as a "gate guardian" at Robertson Barracks.[3]

In 2021, prime minister Scott Morrison visited Robertson Barracks, where he announced a spend of A$747 million to upgrade the Robertson Barracks Close Training Area, Kangaroo Flats Training Area, Mount Bundey Training Area and Bradshaw Field Training Area. This was part of a total of A$8 billion allocated for spending on defence installations in the Northern Territory.[4]


Robertson Barracks is a major Australian Army base in Holtze, a suburb of Darwin in the Municipality of Litchfield, about 15 km (9.3 mi) east of the Darwin city centre.[citation needed]

Robertson Barracks are home to the 1st Brigade and the 1st Aviation Regiment. It has a helicopter airfield, similar to Holsworthy Barracks.[citation needed]


The units currently[when?] located on Robertson Barracks are:[citation needed]

1 Brigade units[edit]

External units[edit]

US Marines[edit]

In 2011 as part of the Obama administration's "pivot to Asia" it was announced that US Marines would be based in Darwin at the Robertson Barracks. In November 2011 it was announced that up to 2,500 US Marines would be based in Australia for training, starting from 200 to 250 in 2012, to 2500 over the following five years. The Marine groups were to stay for six months at a time.[6][7][8]

Robertson Barracks is reported to be a future site of a United States Pacific Command, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D), and its current capacity of 4,500 troops will be upgraded in the near future. Currently, the size and the accessibility of key facilities in Darwin follows closely with other US deployment sites around the globe.[citation needed]

In 2016, 1,250 US Marines deployed to Robertson Barracks, along with four UH-1Y Venom helicopters.[9]

Drawn-out negotiations over cost-sharing and other issues meant that the original number of 2,500 Marines per deployment would not be reached until at least 2020.[10]

As of February 2024, it was reported that up to 2,500 Marines had been stationed at Darwin each year.[11]


  1. ^ "A report relating to the facilities for an increased Army presence in the North (APIN) Stage 2 (ninth report of 1995)". The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. 1995. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  2. ^ Jobson, Christopher (2009). Looking Forward, Looking Back: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Army. Wavell Heights, Queensland: Big Sky Publishing. p. 106. ISBN 9780980325164.
  3. ^ "What will happen to a tank if you drop a nuclear bomb on it?". Quora. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  4. ^ Vivian, Steve (28 April 2021). "PM visits Howard Springs as Commonwealth spruiks $747 million Top End ADF upgrade". ABC News. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  5. ^ "1st Close Health Battalion". Who We Are. Australian Army. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. ^ Calmes, Jackie (16 November 2011). "A U.S. Marine Base for Australia Irritates China". New York Times. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  7. ^ Gillard, Obama detail US troop deployment 26 April 2011 Retrieved 15 November 2016
  8. ^ Marine Rotational Force – Darwin Retrieved 15 November 2016
  9. ^ First of 1,250 Marines arrive in Australia for six-month training deployment 13 April 2016 Marine Corps Times Retrieved 15 November 2016
  10. ^ U.S., Australia delay plans to send more Marines Down Under 10 June 2016 Marine Corps Times Retrieved 15 November 2016
  11. ^ O'Brien, Kristy (6 February 2024). "The unlikely alliance between defence forces and traditional owners transforming Timber Creek". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 9 February 2024.

External links[edit]