Defence in Queensland


Queensland has one of the highest concentrations of Australian Defence Force establishments in Australia, with major military bases in southeast Queensland at Amberley near Ipswich, Enoggera in Brisbane and Oakey west of Toowoomba. In northern Queensland are RAAF Base Townsville and HMAS Cairns. Other smaller Defence establishments are at Bulimba in Brisbane, Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland and Cabarlah on the Darling Downs.


The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) maintains a presence in South Queensland through its Navy Headquarters at Bulimba on the Brisbane River. Although there are no ships or commissioned establishments in Brisbane there is a high level of naval activity in and around South Queensland.

Navy Headquarters – South Queensland (NHQ-SQ)

Navy Headquarters – South Queensland (NHQ-SQ) is the focal point of naval activity in South Queensland and supports RAN personnel who serve in the area. Bulimba Barracks is also home to the highly respected Queensland detachment of the Royal Australian Naval Band, Australian Naval Reserve Dive Team Eight, and Australian Naval Cadet Headquarters.

HMAS Cairns

With a responsibility extending from Rockhampton to Thursday Island, HMAS Cairns has 900 Navy and civilian personnel and is the homeport for 14 Naval vessels. HMAS Cairns provides maintenance, logistical and administrative support for Cairns-based fleet units.



Gallipoli Barracks, located at Enoggera, Brisbane is home base to more than 4,500 military and civilian members of the Australian Defence Organisation. It is one of the most centrally located barracks in a capital city, being only seven kilometres from the city centre. It is one of the largest Army bases in Australia and home to Headquarters 1st Division and the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters (Land), the integrated Regular/Reserve Headquarters 7th Brigade, Headquarters 16th Brigade (Aviation) and the Division’s subordinate units.


Although primarily an air base, Amberley now has a substantial Australian Army presence in the 9th Forward Support Battalion, the 21st Construction Squadron, and the recently established Chora Valley Lines driver and maintenance training facility.

Darling Downs

The Army Aviation Centre located at Oakey 30km west of Toowoomba is home to the Australian Army Aviation Training Centre, the School of Army Aviation and the Army Helicopter School. Borneo Barracks at Carbarlah on the Darling Downs is home to 7th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) and the Electronic Warfare Wing of the Defence Force School of Signals.


Located in the Gold Coast hinterland, Kokoda Barracks in Canungra is home to the Defence Intelligence Training Centre. The famous barracks, once the location of the Jungle Training Centre and its training facilities, still runs courses ranging from pre-command courses to battalion live-fires.


Lavarack Barracks, Townsville is home to the Australian Army’s 3rd Brigade, plus support and logistics units. It is one of the Australian Army’s largest military bases, home to about 4,500 soldiers. The brigade forms the major combat component of the ADF’s Ready Deployment Force held at the highest degree of readiness for operations. The arrival in December 2011 of the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment concentrated 3 Brigade units in one geographic location, which significantly improved Army’s ability to prepare and deploy high readiness forces in defence of Australia’s national interests.


RAAF Base Amberley

RAAF Base Amberley is the largest air base in Australia, employing more than 4500 people. It is 40kms southwest of Brisbane on the outskirts of Ipswich. Best-known over the past four decades as home to the F-111 strike aircraft, withdrawn from service in December 2010, it is now home to two squadrons of F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter/strike aircraft. The base is also home to 36 Squadron (C-17A Globemaster III heavy transport aircraft) and 33 Squadron (KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport). The air base is also home to a strong Australian Army presence, with a force support battalion, construction squadron and a Defence driver training unit.

RAAF Base Townsville

RAAF Base Townsville is an important forward operating base located north-west of Townsville, with more than 1000 personnel including Air Force, Army and Defence civilians. It is home to the RAAF’s King Air 350s of 38 Squadron and Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment with Blackhawk and Tiger Armed Reconnaissance helicopters.


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