COMPOL members at Maralinga Airport, 1964
The Australian Federal Police Museum
In April 1960 a new Commonwealth Police (COMPOL) was established with 650 members of the former Peace Officer Guard and 90 former Commonwealth Intelligence Service officers working under Ray Whitrod, Commissioner.
COMPOL policed such places as Maralinga, South Australia, where between 1952 and 1963 the British government, with the agreement and support of Australia, carried out nuclear tests.
Maralinga was developed as the permanent proving ground site, following a request of the British in 1954 and, after its completion in 1956, was the location of all trials conducted in Australia. It was developed as a joint facility with a shared funding arrangement. Following the two major trials (Operation Buffalo in 1956 and Operation Antler in 1957), a number of minor trials, assessment tests and experimental programs (dating from 1959) were held at the range until 1963. Maralinga was officially closed following a clean-up operation (Operation Brumby) in 1967.