Located in Azraq, 100km to the northeast of Amman, MSAB was officially opened on May 24, 1981 by His Majesty the late King Hussein and named after Lieutenant Muwaffaq Salti who fell martyr during an air battle with the Israelis on November 13, 1966. It was the home of the 1st and 25th Mirage squadrons but since 1997, F-16 was introduced to eventually replace the Mirage as RJAF primary long-range strike capability.
The maintenance units and facilities at MSAB hold special significance as they are capable of implementing vital upgrades such as Falcon Up and Falcon Star to F-16s to maintain their structural integrity and keep their life to keep them fit for the mission. They can also perform major repairs to the aircraft structure in coordination and with guidance from the aircraft's manufacturer, LMAero and the USAF Technical Coordination Group (TCG). The technical support unit, which handles installation, communications and vehicle maintenance, in addition to related logistics also does a good job. Single-handedly, the unit can not only address every technical fault in these operations, but also extends a helping hand to society outside, including search and rescue during harsh weather conditions, road accidents and other calamities.
The base also features an air defense group, which is considered among the first-line units of defense against any hostile targets in the skies of the Kingdom, covering vital installations and reaching in its capacity to defending the capital.
Like other bases, the ground defense battalion is fully prepared to protect MSAB's 35 km-long perimeter, making it the largest base in the country.
Going back in history, the early stage of the base dates back to 1918, when Thomas Edward Lawrence used Azraq Castle as a base due to the fact that the northern mud flats were suitable for use as a landing ground for the aircraft which were supporting the column pushing north towards Dera’a during the Great Arab Revolt. The main qualities of the area were its good visibility and fine weather for flying.
This area was chosen by the RJAF for a major new air base in September 1976 and construction started in that year. In November, 1980 the 1st (F5As and Bs) and 11th squadrons (F5Es and Fs) were deployed, but only for a couple of years as they were soon replaced by the French fighter Mirage-F1 (B&C).