Harold E Holt station reaches 50-year milestone
Australia and the US have just celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the official commissioning of Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt in Exmouth, Western Australia.
The station was built following the 1963 signing of construction and operation agreements, and the status of forces agreement, between Australia and the US.
“Since the station was commissioned on 16 September 1967, it has played a significant part in the Australia–US relationship through its strategic and operational role,” said Minister for Defence Marise Payne.
“The station provides very low frequency (VLF) communication transmission services in support of Australian, US and allied submarines and has strengthened the relationship between Australia and the US.”
The VLF antenna array covers over 400 hectares. The antennas are a large spider web of wires supported in a ‘top hat’ arrangement using 13 towers, the tallest of which is nearly 400 metres high.
In 1992, command of the base was officially passed from the US Navy to the Royal Australian Navy.
The station is now operated and maintained by the Australian Department of Defence on behalf of the Commonwealth and the US, after a formal agreement between both countries was signed in 2008.
Created in support of the station’s construction and operation, the town of Exmouth was declared open on the same day as the station was commissioned and has become a popular tourist destination.
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