Len should bid for this

Sydney Morning Herald

Len Brown should bid against the Aussies for the base for a US Carrier Group. the economic benefits would far outweigh a silly taxi race around Pukekohe:

A report for the US military contains a recommendation to expand America’s defence presence in Australia by massively expanding a base in Perth for a US aircraft carrier and supporting fleet.

The report’s authors will give testimony before Congress’s Armed Services Committee on Wednesday in the US.

The CSIS was directed to consider how the US military could undertake the “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region announced by President Barack Obama last year in response to China’s increasing influence.

The third option in the report – formally titled US Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment – details moving a US carrier strike group to the HMAS Stirling base in Perth.

The strike group would include a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, a carrier air wing of up to nine squadrons, one or two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, one or two nuclear powered submarines and a supply ship.

“Australia’s geography, political stability, and existing defence capabilities and infrastructure offer strategic depth and other significant military advantages to the United States in light of the growing range of Chinese weapons systems, US efforts to achieve a more distributed force posture, and the increasing strategic importance of south-east Asia and the Indian Ocean,” says the report.


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  • captain Kidd

    This would be fantastic for NZ would no doubt bring many millions into the country and jobs.But the antiworker lefties will wail big time.

    • le sphincter

      Dont be silly, we are in the wrong location to easily travel between Indian Ocean and  South China Sea.

      Plus a nuclear carrier  draws to much draught for the Auckland harbour. Captain Conway will confirm this. But I think Auckland  is about 12.5m while the carriers are nearly 14m.

      Epic Fail, le sphincter wins again

      • ConwayCaptain

        That is right POAL is too shallow and there are no other ports apart from Whangarei that could take a carrier.  Also you need access to DEEP water close in to operate your nuke subs.

  • Quintin Hogg

    It would be a great idea and worth heaps to the economy.

    As it would require,

    1. A completely new port for the carrier strike group, as well as;
    2. A new airbase for the strike wings that accompany the strike group and;
    3. Associated roading accomodation and communications infrastructure.

    The infrastructure work would keep our biggest companies going for decades.

    Go for it Len.  You could bury a city loop in there somewhere!

    • Cobolt

       Quintin, I think you might find the strike wings will already have a base, it’s called an aircraft carrier.

      • le sphincter

        Duhhhhh.  No they dont, when in home port  ( as this would be )they spend their time on the ground not on deck.

        Irrelevant as those brilliant posters Conway Capitan  and Moi have pointed out.
        Not going to happen

      • Quintin Hogg

        Have a look at every US naval base in the US.

        Attached to each is a naval airstation where the strike wings and other aircraft are based when a carrier is in port.

        Anyway as CC and the spinc says there is a depth issue for Auckland, so it would be a pipe dream.

  • Cobolt

    There us one wee issue around this. China is fast becoming the second super-power with one air craft carrier commissioned and more on the way.
    If something did happen in the future when China is much stronger I’d be glad we don’t have a carrier base on our shores.

    • le sphincter

      Argentina had an aircraft carrier too – means nothing to have shiny toys, using it is a different story

      • ConwayCaptain

        It takes many many years to build up operational capability to operate a carrier, nuke etc.

        The brits invented the carrier however after scrapping the OLD Ark Royal they lost the capability of operating catapult operated carriers.

        They now have to re learn operating VTSOL aircraft for the QE Class.

        BTW if old Liz launches the QE Carrier this will be the 4th launching of a Queen Elizabeth she has attended.

        The original Lizzie, the QE2, the present one operated by Carnival Cruises under a Mickey Mouse Cunard house Flag and HMS QE.

    • ConwayCaptain

      One of the problems that China has in operating a Blue Water navy is the fact that it is bounded in by a Chain of Islands which they have to pass through or close by to get to the ocean.

      The Shakalin Is, the Japan Chain, Taiwan and the Phillipoines.  Now the US and its Allies will have listeneing posts there to listen for the v noisy Chinese nukes transiting out.

      • Mediaan

        Those listening arrays seem to have very long range. Apparently they listen through layers of water and pick up engine noise from hundreds and hundreds of miles, days away. There’s one up on Barrier.

        You can put them on any rock, really. But they don’t seem to fit very deep water, or so it seems to me. So I don’t understand why the presence of many small islands would deter movement from the detection point of view via listening arrays.

        But maybe CC you are referring to active shelling or similar..

  • Adolf Fiinkensein


    But but but they’d need TWO carrier fleets.  One for the job and one for the veeeeeery long commute from Auckland to where the job is.

  • Anonymouse coward

    Note the source of this report, the US Congress. It just some congress critter trying to float some pork barrel spending.

    The only strategic threat in the Southern Indian or Southern Pacific Oceans are Whales becoming armed and dangerous


    i heard Len is going to get nuclear trains in now as well

  • Mediaan

    I imagine it’s not a glorified boat shed they are looking for, but a way to dominate traffic moving to go round the southern part of Africa.

    They want to rule the southern Indian Ocean.
    We need to study this strategically, not as future landlords etc.

    Will it result in shipping increasing round our southern boundary, as (let’s say) a country like Burma or North Korea tries to conduct trade with West Africa or Europe? How about us? If we fall out with some future US administration, will we be faced with lengthy detours to get our heavy primary products to Europe?

    • Mediaan

      Note to self:
      Buy shares in Southport.

      • le sphincter

        Note to self :  
        Buy shares in Ryman, dementia is more common that we thought

      • Bunswalla

        Note to poo-hole: learn the difference in meaning between the words “that” and “than” and study how and when to use them.


      • Mediaan

        Your order allowing you to own property now, Sfink? That’s terrific.

        But I wouldn’t buy Ryman, because it depends on successive Bludger-Friendly governments being elected in New Zealand. Ain’t how it’s gonna be.

    • Napalm in the Morning

      Than can control Indian Ocean and just about that whole region from Diego Garcia

  • Napalm in the Morning

    Picton would be deep enough wouldnt it?. Protected with mountains, old AirForce base nearby. I heard a story that US Navy during WW2 wanted to dredge out the Estuary in Invercargill for deep water port, the condition was that local council had to maintain it and thats why it didnt happen. Maybe the Japanese threat to Aussie decreased, anybody heard that story?

    • le sphincter

      Wharfs at Picton are about 7.5m so no good. But of course they need new berths anyway
      “In view of the heavy ferry traffic in the Tory Channel, all foreign vessels should use the northern entrance to the Queen Charlotte Sound.  Minimum depth of 13.4 meters in the main channel west of Long Island – however any vessels whose draft exceeds 10.5 meters must use the alternative channel to the east of Long Island with a minimum water depth of 19.2 meters (use of this channel is however restricted to daylight hours by direction of the Harbourmaster).  The inner part of the Sound is generally over 20 meters in depth.  Could work, but doubt the US Navy would like the narrow channels for operational reasons

      • Mediaan

        Hey, we could give them this great shipping pilot we have got. Name of Jamieson. Knows those rocks intimately.

    • ConwayCaptain

      Bluff is too far south.  It is 3 days steaming just to get to the Latitude of Akl.

  • Dave

    Perhaps Bluff is suitable with a few new facilities.  Good industry for the hardy southlanders, and our mate Captain Mallard could host the Yanky seamen at the local pubs.

    Problem solved!!

    • ConwayCaptain

      Not deep enough only open about 3 hras eiether side of the tide and the weather is CEAP

      • Dave

        Perfect for the Americans then, they can spend billions dredging the harbor and building new facilities.  The weather is no worse than some northern american or canadian states, and three hours nuclear steaming is almost far enough away from Auckland and Hamilton Captain.

  • Mediaan

    Haven’t been there, but it appears to be a narrow circle of land around a lagoon. Doesn’t strike me as navy friendly. But I know it has been used by the US navy for decades. And it is way further north, at a latitude similar to Djakarta and out of the way of the southern Suez-alternative route, round the Cape of Good Hope.

    Interestingly, if they did go there to Perth it would imply that, despite their current US base in the Gulf and Japan’s new base on the coast near Somalia, they believed Suez would become unusable.

  • ConwayCaptain


    There is a HUGE array on the sea floor on the UK/Iceland/Greenland Gap and all the USSR nukes had to cross it and they were picked up for miles.

    The RNZN experimental station on Gt Barrier can pick up noises off WCNA!!