RAAF Base Edinburgh

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RAAF Base Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Adelaide, South Australia in Australia
RAAF Base Edinburgh YPED is located in South Australia
RAAF Base Edinburgh YPED
RAAF Base Edinburgh YPED
Location in South Australia
Coordinates 34°42′09″S 138°37′15″E / 34.70250°S 138.62083°E / -34.70250; 138.62083Coordinates: 34°42′09″S 138°37′15″E / 34.70250°S 138.62083°E / -34.70250; 138.62083
Type Military air base
Site information
Owner Department of Defence
Operator  Royal Australian Air Force
Website RAAF Base Edinburgh
Site history
Built 1955 (1955)
Garrison information
Occupants
RAAF Base Edinburgh
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator  Royal Australian Air Force
Location Edinburgh, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia
Elevation AMSL 67 ft / 20 m
Coordinates 34°42′09″S 138°37′15″E / 34.70250°S 138.62083°E / -34.70250; 138.62083
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 1,962 6,437 Grass
18/36 2,560 8,399 Asphalt
Sources: Australian AIP and aerodrome chart[1]

RAAF Base Edinburgh (ICAO: YPED) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) military airbase located in Edinburgh, 25 km (16 mi) north of the centre of Adelaide, South Australia, in Australia

The base is primarily home to No 92 Wing and their Lockheed AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft that conduct surveillance operations throughout Australia's airspace. However, after an extensive building program over the course of 2010-2011, it has also become the home of 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, a regular infantry battalion of the Australian Army and some smaller units. This has pushed the daily working population of RAAF Base Edinburgh beyond 4,500 from 6am-6pm.

Aerospace Operational Support Group (AOSG) conducts research and development on aircraft and weapons through the flight test squadron, ARDU, and conducts a wide range of defence systems test and evaluation activities at the Woomera Test Range (WTR), controlled through Headquarters Woomera Test Range (HQWTR), a wing-level agency unit within AOSG.

RAAF Base Edinburgh is also home to No. 87 Squadron, Air Force Intelligence.

History[edit]

RAAF Edinburgh was constructed in 1955 as a support base for weapons development at the joint UK-Australian Weapons Research Establishment (WRE) at Woomera. This support had previously been temporarily based at Mallala.[2] The base was located alongside the wartime Salisbury Explosives factory,[3] 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. Edinburgh's major role changed in 1977 when No. 10 Reconnaissance Squadron was relocated to South Australia from RAAF Base Townsville, which had been the centre of Australia's maritime reconnaissance operations since the Second World War. RAAF Base Edinburgh has since been home to the RAAF's Maritime Patrol Group, as well as No 1 Recruit Training Unit, the Institute of Aviation Medicine (AVMED) and the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU).[4]

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.

In 2017 it was announced that the main runway would be extended by 275 metres (902 ft) to enable it to be used by the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which are replacing the Lockheed AP-3C Orion fleet.[5]

Environmental contamination[edit]

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.[6][7]

Current units[edit]

Unit Full name Force Element Group Aircraft Notes
HQ92WG Headquarters No 92 Wing Surveillance and Response Group
453SQN DET EDN No. 453 Squadron Surveillance and Response Group Air traffic control
24SQN No. 24 (City of Adelaide) Squadron - Airbase support Combat Support Group
87SQN No. 87 Squadron - Air Intelligence Air Warfare Centre
292SQN No. 292 Squadron - Sensor operator training Surveillance and Response Group
HQ3SFSQN Headquarters No 3 Security Forces Squadron
1RSU No. 1 Remote Sensor Unit Jindalee Operational Radar Network
No 1 Expeditionary Health Squadron Detachment Edinburgh
No 1 Combat Communication Squadron Flight Edinburgh
10SQN No. 10 Squadron Surveillance and Response Group AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft
11SQN No. 11 Squadron Surveillance and Response Group AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft
JEWOSU Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit Air Warfare Centre Information Warfare Directorate (TU 646.7.1)
RAAF AIS RAAF Aeronautical Information Service Air Warfare Centre
462SQN No. 462 Squadron - information security Air Warfare Centre
ARDU Aircraft Research and Development Unit Air Warfare Centre Development and Test Wing (DTWG)
ASE SQN ARDU Systems Engineering Squadron Air Warfare Centre
ASCENG SQN Aircraft/Stores Compatibility Engineering Agency Air Warfare Centre
AVMED Institute of Aviation Medicine Air Warfare Centre
HQWTR Headquarters Woomera Test Range Air Warfare Centre Woomera Test Range (TU 646.7.3)
WTROPS WTR Range Operations Branch Air Warfare Centre
WRA RAAF Woomera Airfield Air Warfare Centre
WPA Woomera Prohibited Area Air Warfare Centre
WTRENG WTR Range Engineering Branch Air Warfare Centre
7RAR 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Australian Army

The main aircraft type operating from Edinburgh is the AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. However, the base has recently (2006–2011) undergone a massive upgrade to accommodate 7RAR and supporting army units.

Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU)[edit]

The Aircraft Research and Development Unit, first established in 1944, is now a squadron of AOSG's Development and Test Wing (DTWG). Based at RAAF Edinburgh, ARDU provides specialist Australian Defence Force aerospace testing and evaluation of new weapons and aircraft into the RAAF and ADF arsenal.

Aircraft based at ARDU[citation needed]
permanently temporarily
Pilatus PC-9 Eurocopter Tiger
Boeing F/A-18 Hornet
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk MRH-90
Beechcraft Super King Air

Woomera Test Range (WTR)[edit]

The WTR is the Western world's largest defence systems test range and is an Australian icon. The range covers 127,000 km2 (49,000 sq mi) (roughly the size of England or the US State of Florida). It is controlled by HQWTR located at RAAF Edinburgh, but is supported directly from Woomera Village. The range is approximately 460 km (290 mi) north-west of Adelaide.

7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ YPED – Edinburgh (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 25 May 2017, Aeronautical Chart
  2. ^ Mallala, RAAF Museum
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Edinburgh, RAAF Museum
  5. ^ Part of Penfield Road in Adelaide to be closed off so runway at RAAF Base Edinburgh can be extended Northern Messenger, 13 July 21017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  6. ^ Turnbull pledges blood tests for RAAF base toxic leak amid Defence probe The Advertiser, 15 June 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  7. ^ 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, 13 October 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2017.

External links[edit]