RAAF Base Edinburgh, along with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), is located on the site of the Salisbury wartime munition factory that operated from 1942 to 1945. In 1946 the Australian and British Governments agreed to undertake a joint guided weapons’ testing project and to set up a long-range experimental firing range. The Salisbury site was chosen for the headquarters and the range was established at Woomera. The airstrip at Salisbury was completed in 1954 and named in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, who opened the airfield.
During the early years of the weapons testing, there were more than 2000 British servicemen based at Edinburgh, Woomera and Maralinga. The last of these servicemen left in 1976. The RAAF first arrived at Edinburgh when Headquarters Edinburgh was formed on 17 January 1955 with an establishment of 7 Officers and 8 Airmen. No 1 Recruit Training Unit moved to Edinburgh from Wagga Wagga in 1964 and the first Orion aircraft arrived in 1968, when no 11 Squadron transferred to this Base.
The Base today consists of both operational and support units including those of the RAAF’s Long-Range Maritime Patrol aircraft, the P3C Orion.
The overall strength at the Base is approximately 2000 Serving members and civilians.