Built as a relief landing ground for nearby St David's, it was handed over to the Admiralty in early 1946. It was put under maintenance until 1951, when a modernisation programme began, to complete in 1955. It was commissioned as HMS Goldcrest in Sep 1952. Between 1961 and 1963, more works were undertaken and the runway was extended. The 1966 Defence White Paper reduced the UK carrier fleet and the airfield was handed over as RAF Brawdy. Regular military flying operations ceased in 1992. SAR operations ended when 202 Squadron B Flight departed in Jul 1994.
After the 1992 closure of mainstream flying, the base was handed over to the Army as Cawdor Barracks. In 1995, the Royal Navy presence was significantly reduced when a major submarine detection and reporting hub transferred out. It was announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 5 Mar 2013, that the base was due to close completely by 2019.