RAAF Base Edinburgh (ICAO: YPED) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military airbase located in Edinburgh approximately 28 km (17 mi) north of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia and forms part of the Edinburgh Defence Precinct.

The base is primarily home to No 92 Wing and their Lockheed AP-3C Orion and Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that conduct surveillance operations throughout Australia's region of interest. The base is also the home of the Air Warfare Centre which is responsible through its Air Force Ranges Directorate for the Woomera Test Range. The base has over the past decade become home to elements of the 1st Brigade of the Australian Army.

History

The construction of RAAF Base Edinburgh commenced in 1953 and it was officially opened 22 March 1954 as a support base for weapons development at the joint UK-Australian Weapons Research Establishment (WRE) at Woomera and Maralinga.[1] The support base had previously been based at a small Edinburgh Airfield and at RAAF Base Mallala.[1][3] The base was located alongside the wartime Salisbury Explosives factory,[4] in open fields between the then country villages of Salisbury (to the south) and Smithfield (to the north). At about the same time, the satellite town of Elizabeth was being established (to the east).

Support for WRE testing activities had greatly reduced by the late 1960s. In 1968, No. 11 Squadron relocated to Edinburgh operating Orions.[1] In the late 1970s, No. 10 Squadron also operating Orions relocated to Edinburgh and a maritime patrol wing No. 92 Wing was established at Edinburgh making it the primary base for Australia's maritime reconnaissance operations.[1] RAAF Base Edinburgh has since been home to No 1 Recruit Training Unit, the Institute of Aviation Medicine (AVMED) and the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU).[5]

Originally, RAAF Edinburgh and the DSTO were located in Salisbury, (subsequently the suburb of Salisbury – Postcode 5108), in the City of Salisbury. In 1997, the Department of Defence decided to rationalise the then "DSTO Salisbury" site and sell off about 70% of the site, and surrounding "Defence-owned" Crown land, to form the "Edinburgh Parks" industrial estate. The suburb of Salisbury was split in two, with the part containing the RAAF Base and DSTO renamed "Edinburgh" (after the RAAF Base). The new suburb was assigned the Postcode 5111.

On 5 December 2003, stage one of the redevelopment of the base was opened including facilities for the newly formed Aerospace Operational Support Group, and for the Aircraft Research and Development Unit which had relocated from DSTO Salisbury, and for Defence Materiel Organisation units - the Maritime Patrol System Program office and the Aeronautical Life Support Logistics Management Unit.[6]

In August 2012, stage two of the redevelopment of the base was completed including a new air traffic control tower and facilities for No. 462 Squadron, which had relocated from Canberra, and for No. 87 Squadron.[7][8]

On 19 November 2017, the Defence Minister announced that the base would be upgraded to operate the P-8A Poseidon including new facilities, infrastructure and airfield works with a strengthened and extended runway (by 275 metres (902 ft)).[9][10][11]

In November 2019, the base held the 'Edinburgh Air Show 2019' over two days the 9th and 10th.[12]

Environmental contamination

In 2016 concerns were raised about perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in fire fighting foams at the base until 2004, being found in groundwater at the base and in nearby wetlands.[13][14] A 2014 report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency described PFOA and PFOS as emergent contaminants that are "extremely persistent in the environment and resistant to typical environmental degradation processes" and which consequently pose "potential adverse effects for the environment and human health" due to their toxicity, mobility, and ability to bioaccumulation.[15]

Current Air Force units

Unit Full name Force Element Group Aircraft Notes
HQ92WG Headquarters No 92 Wing[16] Surveillance and Response Group
10SQN No. 10 Squadron[16] Surveillance and Response Group AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft
11SQN No. 11 Squadron[16] Surveillance and Response Group Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft
292SQN No. 292 Squadron[16] Surveillance and Response Group Operational conversion unit
1RSU No. 1 Remote Sensor Unit[16] Surveillance and Response Group Jindalee Operational Radar Network
453SQN EDN FLT No. 453 Squadron Edinburgh Flight[16] Surveillance and Response Group Air traffic control
24SQN No. 24 (City of Adelaide) Squadron[16] Combat Support Group Airbase support
3SECFOR SQN No 3 Security Forces Squadron[16] Combat Support Group
1CCS EDN FLT No 1 Combat Communication Squadron Flight Edinburgh[1] Combat Support Group
2EHS DET EDN No 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron Detachment Edinburgh[1] Combat Support Group
Headquarters Air Warfare Centre[16] Air Warfare Centre
Air Force Ranges Directorate[16] Air Warfare Centre
AWR Air Force Air Weapon Ranges[16] Air Warfare Centre
AFTRSQN Air Force Test Range Squadron[16] Air Warfare Centre
Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) simulation[16] Air Warfare Centre
Information Warfare Directorate[16] Air Warfare Centre
JEWOSU Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit[16] Air Warfare Centre
87SQN No. 87 Squadron[16] Air Warfare Centre
462SQN No. 462 Squadron[16] Air Warfare Centre Cyber warfare/Information security
AITU Air Intelligence Training Unit[16] Air Warfare Centre
Tactics and Training Directorate[16] Air Warfare Centre
88SQN No. 88 Squadron[16] Air Warfare Centre
Air Warfare School[16] Air Warfare Centre
Test and Evaluation Directorate[16] Air Warfare Centre
ARDU Aircraft Research and Development Unit[16] Air Warfare Centre
AWESQN Air Warfare Engineering Squadron[16] Air Warfare Centre
IAM Institute of Aviation Medicine[16] Air Warfare Centre
Cadet Units
613SQN 613 Squadron - Edinburgh[17] Australian Air Force Cadets Cadet Unit

Army 1st Brigade

The Hardened and Networked Army plan was announced in December 2005 to relocate elements of the Australian Army's 1st Brigade to RAAF Base Edinburgh which was later altered by the Enhanced Land Force plan released in August 2006 changing the mechanised infantry battalion to be relocated.[18][19] An extensive building program was undertaken to provide new working accommodation and joint Army and RAAF training facilities, a combined mess, fitness, health and community facilities.[20][19] On 9 September 2011, the new facilities were officially opened with the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) a mechanised infantry battalion housed at Horseshoe Lines.[20][21] 7 RAR had relocated from Robertson Barracks in Darwin earlier in the year in January.[20] The new facilities housed other relocated units including the 102nd (Coral) Battery from 8th/12th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, 9th Field Squadron from 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, 1st Combat Services Support Team from 1st Combat Service Support Battalion and a detachment from Headquarters 1st Brigade.[20][22]

In November 2017, the 1st Armoured Regiment relocated from Robertson Barracks to Chauvel Lines at RAAF Base Edinburgh as part of the Plan Beersheba reorganisation of the Army.[23][24] D Squadron had earlier relocated in January 2014.[25]

Current Army units

The following units are based at RAAF Base Edinburgh:[1]

  • 1st Brigade Headquarters (Southern Detachment)
    • 1st Armoured Regiment
      • Headquarters Squadron
      • A Squadron – Cavalry (equipped with the ASLAV)
      • B Squadron – Tank (equipped with the M1A1 Abrams)
      • C Squadron – Cavalry (equipped with the ASLAV)
      • Support Squadron
    • 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
      • Battalion Headquarters
      • Rifle Companies (Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie)
      • Support Company
      • Administration Company
    • 1st Combat Service Support Team (1st Combat Service Support Battalion)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Welcome to Edinburgh Defence Precinct - Annual Handbook 2020" (PDF). Williamtown: RAAFANSW Publications. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ YPED – Edinburgh (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 21 May 2020, Aeronautical Chart[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Mallala". RAAF Museum. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  4. ^ The wartime Salisbury Explosives factory became the Long Range Weapons Establishment, subsequently the Weapons Research Establishment (WRE), the Defence Research Centre, Salisbury (DRCS), and now, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).
  5. ^ "Edinburgh". RAAF Museum. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  6. ^ Defence Minister Robert Hill (5 December 2003). "$14 Million Redevelopment for RAAF Edinburgh". Department of Defence (Press release). Archived from the original on 8 July 2004.
  7. ^ "RAAF Base Edinburgh Redevelopment". Grocon. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  8. ^ Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Mike Kelly (28 May 2009). "$99.56 Million for New Facilities Facilities and Infrastructure at RAAF Base Edinburgh". Department of Defence (Press release). Archived from the original on 4 June 2009.
  9. ^ Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Defence (19 November 2017). "Defence invests $659 million for new security infrastructure at RAAF Edinburgh". Department of Defence Ministers. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  10. ^ Defence Infrastructure Division. "Air 7000 Phase 2B - Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement Project - RAAF Base Edinburgh Works". Department of Defence. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  11. ^ Rohweder, Sarah (13 July 2017). "Part of Penfield Road in Adelaide to be closed off so runway at RAAF Base Edinburgh can be extended". The Advertiser. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Edinburgh Air Show 2019". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  13. ^ Shepherd, Tory (15 June 2016). "Turnbull pledges blood tests for RAAF base toxic leak amid Defence probe". The Advertiser. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  14. ^ Henson, Elizabeth (13 October 2016). "Defence Department holds public meeting to inform residents in Adelaide's north about its inquiry into cancer-causing toxins at the Edinburgh RAAF base". The Advertiser. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  15. ^ Emerging Contaminants Fact Sheet – Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). National Service Center for Environmental Publications (Report). United States Environmental Protection Agency. March 2014. p. 1. 505-F-14-001. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Air Force Capability Guidebook 2019 (PDF) (Report). Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  17. ^ "6 Wing AAFC – SA". Australian Air Force Cadets. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  18. ^ Ryan, Lt Col Sean (February 2006). "Hardened and Networked Army - an Army for now and the future". Defence magazine. Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 20 September 2007.
  19. ^ a b Department of Defence (August 2007). Hardened and Network Army Edinburgh Defence Precinct Facilities - Adelaide, South Australia - Statement of Evidence (Report). Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  20. ^ a b c d Parliamentary Secretary for Defence David Feeney (9 September 2011). "Opening of $620 million Horseshoe Barracks at RAAF Base Edinburgh". Department of Defence Ministers (Press release). Archived from the original on 9 September 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  21. ^ Wiseman, Spr Nick (29 September 2011). "New facilities 'best in Aus'" (PDF). Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1268). Canberra: Department of Defence. p. 4. ISSN 0729-5685. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  22. ^ Ellis, Stuart (23 April 2012). Army Presence in South Australia (PDF) (Report). Leading by Example / Defence SA. p. 18–20. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  23. ^ Hamblin, Maj Felicity (30 November 2017). "100 years of tank warfare" (PDF). Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1410). Canberra: Department of Defence. p. 13. ISSN 0729-5685. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  24. ^ "1st Armoured Regiment heads south". Australian Army. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2020 – via Facebook.
  25. ^ Hetherington, WO2 Andrew (28 August 2014). "D Sqn move to APCs" (PDF). Army: The Soldiers' Newspaper (1335). Canberra: Department of Defence. p. 5. ISSN 0729-5685. Retrieved 12 January 2020.

External links