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JASDF Base Histories

Steeped in aviation history that in some cases pre-dates the service’s formation, JASDF air bases are inextricably linked to the development of aviation in Japan. Comprehensive descriptions of key events in the histories of the following 17 bases and two sub-bases (Akita and Niigata) will be complemented by a wealth of other details and a data box of useful information. The bases highlighted in the following table have been included as examples.

Akita Hamamatsu Kasuga Miho Nyutabaru
Ashiya Hofu-Kita Komaki Misawa Shizuhama
Chitose Hyakuri Komatsu Naha Tsuiki
Gifu Iruma Matsushima Niigata  

Initial information is being obtained from the respective base websites, the URLs of which are included in the concluding data box of each entry, and Japanese Wikipedia. Additional factual information, for example from the Japanese aviation press, is being added and cited where applicable. 

Akita
秋田

Location  Akita Airport, Akita City, Akita Prefecture
Established  Jan. 29, 1987

Serving as a sub-base of JASDF Misawa AB, Akita houses a search and rescue squadron that operates from a dedicated apron on the west side of Akita airport’s runway.

Agreement was reached with Akita airport’s management company concerning the building of facilities and the operation of an air rescue unit in October 1984. Started in August 1985, detailed preparations were followed by the establishment of a local military presence (Akita JGSDF Army Camp) in January 1986. The Akita sub-base was inaugurated and a detachment formed on January 29, 1987. A Mitsubishi MU-2A search aircraft and a KV-107IIA-5 rescue helicopter were assigned to the unit on March 11, 1987.

Its commanding officer also serving as base commander, the Air Rescue Wing detachment formed on March 25, 1987, to provide air rescue coverage for the northern part of the Sea of Japan.

The apron area was enlarged in 2000, ahead of the arrival of the unit’s U-125A on March 27, 2001; the MU-2A’s last flight took place on February 21, 2002.

On the helicopter side, a UH-60J was assigned for training purposes on March 22, 2004, and the unit officially became a three-aircraft operation on November 1, 2005. This situation lasted until September 10, 2007, when the KV-107IIA-5 was flown for the last time. In the meantime, the heightened level of operations had prompted another round of facility expansion and upgrades in 2006. The unit started to make use of a helicopter crew training ground at Kamioka in the city of Daisen in June of that year.

Akita ARW KV107 farewellAkita Air Rescue Squadron personnel pose for a photo to bid farewell to the KV-107IIA-5, which had provided 20 years of sterling service, on October 17, 2007. (Photo: JASDF Akita Sub-Base)

On September 11, 2007, a ceremony was held to mark the dedication of a monument where the spirits of three of the eight crew members who lost their lives in two tragic MU-2A accidents are enshrined. On October 19, 1994, a Hamamatsu-based aircraft crashed when on a test flight; on April 14, 2005, an aircraft struck Mt. Mikagura during a training exercise from Niigata Sub-Base. Attended by bereaved family members, the five Akita-resident members of the public who serve for one year as external base monitors as well as current and former base personnel, memorial ceremonies are conducted on the anniversaries of these events.

Akita UH-60J 25thThe resident UH-60J was painted in special markings to mark the 25th anniversary of the Akita ARW unit in 2012. (Photo: JASDF Akita Sub-Base)

One of the helicopter training exercise scenarios conducted in 2014 involved working in concert with the prefectural disaster relief air unit in the simulated rescue of people stranded on top of a supermarket following a major earthquake.

On September 29, 2014, the Sora no Hi (Aviation Day) event, which included a search and rescue flight demonstration, attracted a record 1,300 visitors, a far cry from the numbers that attend airshows at the major bases.

Akita 2014 Sora no Hi posterThe poster that advertised the 2014 Akita Airport Sora no Hi (Aviation Day) event at Akita Sub-Base.

A major rescue mission took place on December 23, 2014, when a Panamanian-registered cargo ship ran aground on the beach just south of the port city of Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture. At the request of the local Japan Coast Guard headquarters, the Akita ARW aircraft were scrambled and succeeded in winching 10 of the 18 Myanmar nationals who were on board to safety and bringing them to nearby Shonai regional airport. (The others were rescued by the Yamagata Prefectural Disaster Prevention Aviation Unit.)

In a repeat performance, the first rescue mission of 2016 took place on January 10, when another Panamanian-registered ship ran aground near the Sakata breakwater. Again called upon to assist by the Japan Coast Guard, the Akita UH-60J crew winched 10 ship’s crewmen to safety.

According to the running totals on the base website, as at January 12, 2016, the Akita ARW detachment had rescued 415 people in the course of 106 missions.

Akita Sub-Base
Based unit Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A/UH-60J)
Contact points Aza Yamakago 23-26, Tsubakigawa, Yuwa, Akita City,
Akita Prefecture 010-1211, Japan

Tel. +81 (0)18-886-3320 ext. 220

Fax. +81 (0)18-886-3320 ext. 270

http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/akita/

Nearest station Yotsugoya 四ツ小屋 (Ou Main Line 奥羽本線 /JREast) [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed January 19, 2016)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia 秋田分屯基地

 

Ashiya
芦屋 

Location  Ashiya Town, Onga District, Fukuoka Prefecture
Established  (As IJAAF base) December 1942
 (As JASDF base) Feb. 1, 1961

A ground-breaking ceremony was held on the site of what was to become the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) base of Ashiya on November 13, 1939. J-HangarSpace has thus far been unable to discover the reason for the long gap between the work`s completion on May 29 the following year and Ashiya’s inauguration as an air base in December 1942.

Charged with air defence and thus itself a prime target, the base was used for the operation of a number fighter types, including the Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony) and its radial-engined counterpart, the Ki-100.

Taken at Ashiya after the war by the famous U.S. Marine Corps photojournalist Joe O’Donnell (1922–2007), a photograph of a Ki-61 from an unidentified unit can be found here [link]. This is possibly an aircraft that was left behind due to technical problems when staging through Ashiya on the way from Chofu airbase in Tokyo to the special attack (kamikaze) base at Chiran, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Amid the constant redeployment of IJAAF squadrons, Ashiya was also used during the working-up stages of newly formed fighter flight regiments (sentai). Formed from the 2nd Chutai (Company), 4th Sentai at Ozuki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in August 1942, the 248th Sentai had been increased to a three-chutai unit before relocating to Ashiya that December. Initially flying the Nakajima Ki-27 (Nate), the unit converted to the then latest Nakajima Ki-43-II Hayabusa (Oscar) in late July 1943. Following an intense period of day and night training, the unit received orders to deploy to the New Guinea theatre of operations on October 9, 1943; its 33 aircraft departed Ashiya a mere 11 days later.

Hasegawa 248th SentaiA Hayabusa of the 248th Sentai mentioned in the text formed the subject of a 2003 Hasegawa plastic model kit. In his seminal Japanese Army Air Force Camouflage and Markings World War II (Aero Publications, 1968), Donald W. Thorpe described the bird plumage-like tail marking as the
“seagull” motif of the 77th Sentai. Subsequently identified as being the markings of the 248th,
the shapes were the stylized leaves of reeds, the tips of which spell out the
sentai‘s number.
As was common practice, the colour coding of the markings denoted individual
chutai,
in this case white (1st Chutai), red (2nd) and yellow (3rd).

Units based at Ashiya ostensibly for training purposes were thrown into the fray when the situation demanded, as happened to the 52nd and 59th sentai on August 20, 1944, when the Yawata Steel Works in Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, came under attack from USAAF B-29s. An ultimately failed attempt to engage the enemy formations again the following night started in tragedy when two 52nd Sentai aircraft, piloted by the unit’s CO Major Takayuki Uchitoku and flight commander Col. Kurine, were involved in a fatal collision on takeoff. The loss of two key pilots did not prevent the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Frank)-equipped 52nd Sentai from departing for the Philippines four days later, on August 25, 1944.

In memory of those times, the on-base resource centre building contains an 8/10th-scale mockup of a Ki-43 bearing the tail markings of the 248th Sentai.

Ki-61 at AshiyaA Kawasaki Ki-61-Ib (Tony) fighter of the IJAAF’s 149th Shimbutai special attack (kamikaze) unit at Ashiya airfield in the summer of 1945. (Photo: U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation via Wikimedia Commons)

In October 1945, the base passed quietly to U.S. military control as a scrap and salvage centre for the mass destruction of Japanese military equipment that followed the end of the Pacific War. This period came to an end in November 1946, when Ashiya was reactivated as an operational base for a succession of U.S. Army Air Force P-51D Mustang and F-82G Twin Mustang units. Due to the runway being ill-suited for fighter operations and some distance from the war zone, Ashiya became home to the by then renamed U.S. Air Force’s bomber and transport units during the Korean War (1950–53).

Budget cutbacks and the need to reposition U.S. forces to Europe resulted in Ashiya being closed and handed back to Japan; some of the base housing dates back to its time under U.S. command.

Ashiya 1981Aerial view of Ashiya AB, taken in 1981. The current runway length is 1,640 meters (5,380 feet).
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons)

Provisional JASDF ground-based units were established in August 1960 and made official three months later, when the U.S. forces vacated the base. Following the official establishment of Ashiya as a JASDF base on February 1, 1961, its facilities were upgraded prior to the arrival of the 3rd Technical School from Gifu and the establishment of an Air Rescue Group detachment in March and July of the following year, respectively. The next phase in the development of today’s Air Rescue Wing unit came in December 1964 with the formation of an Ashiya-designated unit.

Ashiya AB (MoD)Ashiya AB looking deserted during a period of apron maintenance. (Photo: Japan Ministry of Defense)

Although by then under JASDF command, the base’s profile was briefly raised overseas by the 1964 film Flight from Ashiya, which was based on the 1959 novel of the same name and starred Yul Bryner and Richard Widmark. An exhibition held in the town from July to November 2014 mentioned that the base was used for some on-location film sets. For the filming of Tora! Tora! Tora!, the account of the attack on Pearl Harbour that was released in 1970, giant open sets of the aircraft carrier Akagi and the battleship Nagato were built on the beach close to the base.

Ashiya T-1 formation 1975Nine Ashiya-based T-1 pilots demonstrate precision formation flying on the day the base opened its doors to the public in September 1975. (Photo: Takao Kadokami)

Ashiya ramp Sept. 2000A view across the Ashiya ramp in September 2000 shows one of the then few remaining Fuji T-1s.

In October 1962, the 13th Flight Training Wing moved its Fuji T-1 jet trainers from Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, to start a long association with Ashiya that continues to this day. The trading in of the T-1s for Kawasaki T-4s was completed in March 2001.

Ashiya Field ElevSome of the buildings at Ashiya date back to the U.S. presence in the late 1950s.

Today the base is home to around 1,400 permanent personnel (excluding students) and covers an area of 430 hectares (1,060 acres), equivalent to around 92 Tokyo Dome baseball stadiums, making Ashiya the third largest JASDF base.

Unexpected recent long-term residents were the Blue Impulse aerobatic display team. Fortunately, the team had happened to be at Ashiya on March 11, 2011, when the Great East Japan Earthquake devastated vast tracts of the Tohoku region, including their Matsushima home base. The team was finally able to return to Matsushima two years later, on March 28, 2013, after having performed a farewell display at Ashiya three days earlier.

Ashiya late 2015Emblazoned with the wording Ashiya Air Base 2016, a lone T-4 overflies its home base late in 2015.
The aircraft also carries special markings to commemorate  the 15th anniversary of the type’s
association with the base. 
(Photo: JASDF/Ashiya AB) 

Ashiya poster 2011The poster that advertised the airshow commemorating Ashiya AB’s 50th anniversary in 2011.

Ashiya AB
Based units 1st/2nd Flight Training Sqn, 13th Flight Training Wing (T-4)
Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)
Contact points Ooaza 1455-1, Ashiya Town, Onga District,
Fukuoka Prefecture 807-0133, Japan

Tel. +81 (0)93-223-0981 (Base PR Group ext. 344)

http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/ashiya/

Nearest station Orio 折尾 (Kagoshima Main Line 鹿児島本線 /Kyushu Railway Co.)
Base website recommendation: From the Kagoshima Main Line station at Ongagawa, take the local bus heading for Ashiya-machi 芦屋町and get off at the bus stop named Jieitaimae 自衛隊前 (takes around 20 mins). [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources  Base website (accessed January 20, 2015)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia 芦屋基地

 

Chitose
千歳

Location  Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture
Established  (As IJNAF base) Oct. 1, 1939
 (As JASDF base) Sept. 2, 1957

The forces of Nature and an interesting series of events played no small part in dictating the location of Chitose airbase, which nowadays dovetails its operations with those of neighbouring Shin-Chitose airport. 

At the start of the Taisho period of Japanese history (1912–26), the rural area around the small village of Chitose—the name literally means “a thousand years”—had been devastated by eruptions from Mt. Tarumae. The volcanic ash having rendered large swathes of land unsuitable for agriculture, by the mid-1920s the villagers had long been struggling to make ends meet.

Chitose AirportOne of the two Boeing 747-400s operated by the 701st Sqn overflies a snow-covered Shin-Chitose airport, which also houses its home base. (Photo: JASDF Chitose AB)

Two events helped to sow the seeds of the area’s future as an air base and airport. The first was the opening of a private railway line, with a station at Chitose, in August 1926. The second, in that October, was a visit to Chitose by a group from the Otaru Newspaper Company (today the Hokkaido Shimbun Press), who had travelled by train to tour a salmon farm and wanted to show their appreciation of the local hospitality by having one of their aircraft fly over the village. The villagers had requested that the aircraft land, so that they could get their first close look. 

Key factors in this initiative were the foresight of the enterprising village headman, who was looking for ways to utilize the land and to revitalize the area, and the unpaid efforts of the local residents. A village meeting was hurriedly called, and the tourist pulling power of a then still rare appearance by an aircraft resulted in the unanimous decision to go ahead with the building of a landing field. Adults and children alike pitched in to clear an area for a runway 660 feet (200 metres) long and 330 feet (100 metres) wide in all of two days.

The villagers reaped the fruits of their labours on October 22, when the Otaru Newspaper Company’s Mitsubishi R-2.2 biplane Hokkai 1, piloted by Kenjirō Sakai (1903–32) and carrying two passengers, became the first aircraft to land at Chitose. A replica of the aircraft (J-TAWA) can be seen today at the local Meisui Fureai Park, and a statue of Sakai was unveiled at Shin-Chitose airport in October 2002, the 70th anniversary of his tragic death in an air crash off the coast of Tottori Prefecture.

Following the injection of additional financial donations from the village and industry, further efforts on the part of the locals resulted in the expansion of the site to around 37 acres (15 hectares) and the opening of Chitose airfield in October 1934. 

In August 1939, the airfield was utilized as a stopping-off point en route to Nome in Alaska by the crew of the specially converted Daimaitōnichi Newspaper Company (today The Mainichi Newspapers) Mitsubishi Type 96 Model 21 Nippon on its record-breaking circumnavigation of the world.

Two months later, on October 1, 1939, an Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force (IJNAF) base was established on the site and the Chitose Naval Air Group formed. A team including a Lt. Kofukuda from the Ohminato Naval Air Group had conducted a survey the previous April, and the village had been officially notified of the decision to build the base in September. This resulted in 320 acres (130 hectares) of village land being given over for the sole purpose of the base, where a naval air group was declared operational on November 1, 1939. Years before, the village headman had reportedly expressed doubts that the land could be used by the military. 

The initial main runway extended to 4,000 feet (1,200 metres), with another of the same length intersecting at right angles, but the immediate area was ultimately home to a network of three IJNAF airfields. In the case of what was termed Chitose No. 1, located in what is now the Heiwa district of the city of Chitose, the air base and logistics base ultimately covered a total of 500 acres (200 hectares) and comprised two concrete runways (1,200m/1,400m×80m) and four hangars. In 2005, a study was made of the overgrown remains of the concrete aircraft shelters that were still to be found to the west of the runway; a total of 53 covered and uncovered aircraft shelters had been scattered across the base in its heyday.

Renamed the 703rd Naval Air Group on November 1, 1942, what had been the Chitose Naval Air Group was that month deployed to the Marshall Islands, only to be broken up and finally disbanded the following March.

Although the primary resident unit was subsequently the 41st Naval Air Arsenal, the base was also used by a detachment of two-seat A6M2-K trainer versions of the Zero fighter from the Kasumigaura Naval Air Group in Ibaraki Prefecture. A total of 37 A6M2-Ks remained abandoned there at the end of the war, alongside no less than 93 Yokosuka K5Y (Willow) intermediate training biplanes.

Occupied by U.S. forces from October 1945, the base initially continued its logistics role, adding the role of maintenance sub-base to Johnson AB (today’s Iruma AB). With the onset of the Korean War, Chitose was designated as an emergency landing field. Pages from a USAF-produced guidebook [link] provide an interesting insight. (The F-86F-equipped 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, the only USAF combat unit to ever be based at Chitose, was commanded by Col. Robert P. Montgomery from 1956 to 1957.)

A civil airport at Chitose was opened to traffic in October 1951, the first services to Tokyo being operated by the then only recently formed Japan Airlines. Joint civil-military operations date back to 1963, when the first Chitose airport terminal building for domestic services was completed. The airport was to commence its life as an international gateway upon its receipt of official port of entry status in 1969, prior to Sapporo’s hosting of the 1972 Winter Olympics. 

Back in June 1952, an extensive complex was established at Chitose to house provisional elements of the Keisatsu Yobitai (National Police Reserve). 

Nearly three years after the formation of the JASDF in July 1954, a Chitose advance party was formed in May 1957, four months prior to the inauguration of the air base. The first resident JASDF flying units were the F-86F Sabre-equipped 3rd and 4th squadrons of the 2nd Air Wing, which relocated from Hamamatsu during August and were declared operational on September 2, 1957. 

The next unit was the Chitose bunkentai (detachment) of the Air Rescue Squadron, which formed in February 1959. This unit was to retain the detachment designation under the renamed Air Rescue Group from July 15, 1961, and be elevated to squadron status under the Air Rescue Group from December 1964 and under the Air Rescue Wing from March 1, 1971. (The overall control of all Air Rescue Wing units passed from Air Defense Command to Air Support Command on March 26, 2013.) 

Gradually vacated by U.S. units, Chitose AB was for the most part handed back to Japanese government control under the Japan Defense Agency by the U.S. government in July 1959; the rest remained nominally under U.S. military control until handed back in 1976, although the U.S. base had officially closed on June 30, 1975. During the initial period, the base was a single-runway operation; a second parallel runway was not made available until November 1960. Operations using the third and fourth runways, both of which were added on the east side, commenced in December 1961.

The stop-gap all-weather operations with the F-86D Sabres of the 103rd Sqn, which relocated from Komaki in June 1961, paved the way for Chitose’s long association with the F-104J Starfighter, which lasted from the arrival of the Provisional Starfighter Training Squadron in September 1962 to the disbandment of the 203rd Sqn late in 1983.

Aerial view Chitose 1975An aerial view of Chitose, taken in 1975. (Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons)

Discussions with local groups that pre-dated the arrival of the first F-4EJ Phantoms in 1974 eventually resulted in an east-side runway being moved 3,300 feet (1,000 metres) to the south in 1978 to reduce noise levels. 

Having housed units flying each of the JASDF’s mainstay interceptor types, from the F-86F in 1957 to the F-15J from 1983, the forming of the 701st Sqn under the Special Airlift Group in April 1992 added a new dimension to base operations. This milestone was followed by the start of 701st operations at directly adjacent Shin-Chitose Airport in July 1993. The first instance of its kind in Japan, joint use of the runways with civil operations dates back to July 1988, when Shin-Chitose airport opened with a new control tower and a new Runway A. The introduction of Runway B from August 1996 marked the complete physical separation of the civil and military sides of the airport. 

 Chitose tower The tower at Chitose, photographed in August 2007. All movements at Shin-Chitose airport and the JASDF base are controlled from this building, which has been in operation since  June 1988.
(Photo: “J o” via Wikimedia Commons) 
 

As the main JASDF base in Hokkaido, Chitose plays a major role when mounting disaster relief operations. The most recent instance was the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, which triggered a tsunami that left large tracts of Japan’s Tohoku coastal regions devastated. 

Quick reaction alert (QRA) operations designed to intercept and ward off potential incursions into Japanese airspace commenced from Chitose in April 1958. In the Soviet era, scramble alerts peaked at 944 in 1984, with the Northern Air Command’s proximity to the then-perceived threat bearing the brunt of this activity. In the early 2000s, Chitose’s 2nd Air Wing was still involved in roughly a third of such incidents and responded to its 5,000th call in September 2002. Released in April 2015, the figures for Chitose’s sector covering the year up to March 31 showed 286 incidents, an increase of 64 compared with the previous year. Although there were no actual incursions, the overall total of 943 incidents in the skies around Japanese territory was the second highest recorded since 1958.

701st Sqn and 2013rd SqnTwo 203rd Sqn F-15Js formate with one of the 701st Sqn Boeing 747-400s. The two units have been neighbours at Chitose since April 1992. (Photo: JASDF Chitose AB)

Chitose AB 
Based units  201st TFS/203rd TFS, 2nd Air Wing (F-15J/DJ, T-4)

 701st Sqn, Special Airlift Group (B747-400)

 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)

Contact points  Heiwa-mubanchi, Sapporo, Hokkaido 066-8510, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)123-23-3101 ext. 2218

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/chitose/

Nearest station  Chitose 千歳 (Chitose Line 千歳線 /JR Hokkaido)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (last accessed April 16, 2015)

 Kita no Tsubasa Chitose no Kōkūshi (Northern Wings: An Aviation
   History of Chitose), Kenji Moriya (Miyama Shobō, 1985)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)
 Chitose (Chitose City magazine), Oct. 2012 issue

 Wikipedia 千歳基地
 http://www.warbirds.jp/airport/hokkaido/list.html
 http://www.city.chitose.hokkaido.jp

 

Gifu
岐阜

Location  Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture
Established  

[Text pending]

Gifu 1987
Two aerial views of Gifu AB;
(above) taken in 1987, that below in June 2011.
(Photos: [Above] National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, [below} アラツク, both via Wikimedia Commons)

Gifu 2011

 

Gifu少年飛行兵の碑少年飛行兵の碑 memorial stone, photographed in October 2012. (Photo: Hunini via Wikimedia Commons) 

Gifu poster 2014

Gifu AB  
Based unit  Air Development & Test Wing (various aircraft)
Contact points  Nakakanyu-mubanchi, Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture 504-8701, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)58-382-1101

 Base External Affairs Office ext. 2273

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/gifu/

Nearest stations  Kakamigaharashiyakushomae 各務原市役所前 or Mikakino 三柿野
 (Meitetsu Kakamigahara Line 名鉄各務原線)   [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (last accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia 岐阜基地

 

Hamamatsu
浜松

Location  Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Established

[Text pending] 

A selection of photos that was placed on display in a hangar for the JASDF’s 60th anniversary airshow in 2014 provided a glimpse back at bygone eras of the service’s presence at the base.

Hamamatsu 1[Caption in preparation]

Hamamatsu 2[Caption in preparation] 

Hamamatsu 3[Caption in preparation] 

Hamamatsu 4[Caption in preparation]

Hamamatsu 5[Caption in preparation]

Hamamatsu 6[Caption in preparation] 

Hamamatsu 1988An aerial view of Hamamatsu AB, taken in 1988. (Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons) 

Hamamatsu prog2014

 

Hamamatsu AB  
Based units  31st/32nd Flight Training Sqn, 1st Air Wing (T-4)

 602nd Sqn, AEW Control Group (E-767)

 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)

 1st Technical School (F-2A, F-4EJKai, F-15J, T-4, T-7)

Contact points  Nishiyamacho-mubanchi, Nishi-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture 432-8551, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)53-472-1111

 PR Group, External Affairs Office, Administration Unit, 1st Air Wing HQ

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/hamamatsu/

Nearest station  Hamamatsu 浜松 (Tokaido Main Line 東海道本線 /JR East)  [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Hofu-Kita
防府北

Location  Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Established

[Text pending]

 

 Hofu-Kita AB 
Based units  1st/2nd Flight Training Sqn, 12th Flight Training Wing (T-7)
Contact points  Tajima-mubanchi, Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture 747-8567, Japan

 Base External Affairs Office

 Tel. +81 (0)835-22-1950 ext. 216

 Fax: +81 (0)835-22-2085

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/hofukita/

Nearest station  Hofu 防府 (JR Sanyo Main Line 山陽本線)  [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Hyakuri
百里

Location  Omitama, Ibaraki Prefecture
Established   December 25, 1958

[Text pending]

Hyakuri 1974Hyakuri, 1974
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons) 

Hyakuri AB  
Based units  302nd TFS (F-4EJKai/T-4) and 305th TFS (F-15J/DJ, T-4),7th Air Wing

 501st Reconnaissance Sqn, Tactical Reconnaissance Group (RF-4/RF-4EJKai)

 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)

Contact points  Hyakuri 170, Omitama, Ibaraki Prefecture 311-3494, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)299-52-1331

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/hyakuri/

Nearest station  Ishioka 石岡 (Joban Line 常磐線 /JR East)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Iruma
入間

Location  Sayama, Saitama Prefecture
Established  

[Text pending]

Johnson AAB sign
(Above) The Johnson AAB sign, 1946 (Photo: U. S. Air Force via Wikimedia Commons)
(Below) A map of Johnson AAB (Image ARC432A13 via Wikimedia Commons)

Johnson AB map

 

Iruma AB 1989Iruma, 1989
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons)

Ituma towerIruma tower, November 2006 (Photo: Tokoro_ten via Wikimedia Commons)

Iruma hangarOne of the Iruma’s resident Chinooks undergoes night maintenance in July 2007. (Photo: Tokoro-ten via Wikimedia Commons)

Iruma AB
Iruma AB traditionally opens its doors to the public on the November 3 Culture Day holiday every year. Well served by public transport—a train station is located on the base itself—and a permanent fixture on the JASDF Blue Impulse aerobatic team’s display calendar, the event consistently attracts huge
crowds. Press reports estimated that a record-breaking 325,000 people visited on the day in 2013.
 

 Iruma AB 
Based units  402nd Sqn, 2nd Tactical Airlift Group (C-1, U-4)

 Air Defence Command HQ Support Flt (T-4, U-4)

 Electronic Warfare Sqn (EC-1, YS-11EA)

 Electronic Intelligence Sqn (YS-11EB)

 Flight Check Group (U-125, YS-11FC)

 Helicopter Air Transport Sqn (CH-47J)

Contact points  402nd Sqn, 2nd Tactical Airlift Group (C-1, U-4)

 Air Defence Command HQ Support Flt (T-4, U-4)

 Electronic Warfare Sqn (EC-1, YS-11EA)

 Electronic Intelligence Sqn (YS-11EB)

 Flight Check Group (U-125, YS-11FC)

 Helicopter Air Transport Sqn (CH-47J)

Nearest station  Inariyama-koen 稲荷山公園 (Seibu Ikebukuro Line 西武池袋線)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Kasuga
春日

Location  Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture
Established

[Text pending]

 

 Kasuga AB 
Based units  Western Air Defence Command Support Flight (T-4)
 Helicopter Air Transport Sqn (CH-47J)
Contact points  Haramachi 3-1-1, Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture 816-0804, Japan

 PR Group, External Affairs Office, Administration Unit,
 Western Aircraft Control & Warning Group HQ

 Tel. +81 (0)92-581-4031 ext. 2421

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/kasuga/

Nearest stations  Kasuga 春日 (Kagoshima Main Line 鹿児島本線 /JR Kyushu)

 Kasugabaru春日原 (Nishi Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) 西日本鉄道)  [jmap]

Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Komaki
小牧

Location  Komaki, Gifu Prefecture
Established   May 12, 1959

[Text pending]

 

Komaki AB  
Based units  401st Sqn (C-130H)/404th Sqn (KC-767), Tactical Airlift Group
 Air Rescue Wing Training Sqn (U-125A, UH-60J)
Contact points  Kasuganji 1-1, Komaki, Gifu Prefecture 485-0025, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)568-76-2191

 Base External Affairs Office ext. 4055

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/komaki/

Nearest stations  Nagoya 名古屋 (Tokaido Main Line 東海道本線 /JR East)
 Ushiyama 牛山 (Meitetsu Komaki Line 名鉄小牧線)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Komatsu
小松

Location  Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture
Established  February 1, 1961

[Text pending]

Momatsu show poster

 

 Komatsu AB 
Based units  303rd TFS/306th TFS (F-15J/DJ, T-4), 6th Air Wing
 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)
Contact points  Mukaimoto-orimachi-tsuchinoe 267, Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture 923-8586, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)761-22-2101

 Base PR Group (External Affairs Office, Administration Unit, 6th Air Wing HQ) ext. 510

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/komatsu/

Nearest station  Komatsu 小松 (Hokuriku Main Line 北陸本線 /JR West)  [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Matsushima
松島

Location  Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture
Established

[Text pending]

Matsushima 1984Matsushima, 1984
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons) 

 Matsushima AB 
Based units  11th Sqn (Blue Impulse, T-4) / 21st Fighter Training Sqn (F-2B, T-4), 4th Air Wing
 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A/UH-60J)
Contact points  Itadori-Yamoto 85, Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture 981-0503

 Tel. +81 (0)225-82-2111

 PR Group (Administration Unit, 4th Air Wing HQ) ext. 211
 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/matsushima/

Nearest station  Yamoto 矢本 (Senseki Line 仙石線 /JR East)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Miho
美保

Location  Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture
Established   Oct. 1, 1958

[Text pending]

 

Miho AB  
Based units  403rd Sqn (C-1, YS-11NT/P) / 41st Flight Training Sqn (T-400), 3rd Tactical Airlift Group
Contact points  Koshinozucho 2258, Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture 684-0053, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)859-45-0211 ext. 211

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/miho/

Nearest stations  Oshinozucho or Nakahama 大篠津町・中浜 (Sakai Line 境線 /JR West)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Misawa
三沢

Location  Misawa, Aomori Prefecture
Established

[Text pending]

Misawa 1975Misawa, 1975
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons) 

Misawa poster 2014

Misawa 2013 stamp set

 

 Misawa AB 
Based units  3rd TFS/8th TFS, 3rd Air Wing (F-2A/B, T-4)

 601st Sqn, AEW Surveillance Group (E-2C)

 Helicopter Air Transport Sqn (CH-47J)

Contact points  Ushirokubo 125-7, Misawa, Aomori Prefecture 033-8604, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)176-53-4121

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/misawa/

Nearest station  Misawa 三沢 (Tohoku Main Line 東北本線  /JR East)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Naha
那覇

Location  Naha, Okinawa Prefecture
Established

[Text pending]

Naha 2014 posterNaha AB traditionally holds its annual airshow in December. 

Naha AB  
Based units  204th Sqn, 83rd Air Wing (F-15J/DJ, T-4)

 603rd Sqn, AEW Surveillance Group (E-2C)

 Helicopter Air Transport Sqn (CH-47J)

 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)

Contact points  Toma 301, Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 901-0144, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)98-857-1191

 Base External Affairs Office, PR Group ext. 3291

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/naha/

Nearest station  (Transport links to/from Naha Port 那覇港 and Naha Airport 那覇空港)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Niigata
新潟

Location  Niigata Airport, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture
Established

[Text pending]

Niigata UH-60J anniv (Photo: JASDF Niigata Sub-Base) 

 Niigata Sub-Base 
Based unit  Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A/UH-60J)
Contact points  135, Funaecho 3, Higashi-ku, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture 950-0031, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)25-273-9211

 Base PR Group ext. 206

 Fax +81 (0)25-273-9211 ext. 207

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/niigata/

Nearest station  Niigata 新潟 (Shinetsu Line 信越本線  /JR East)  [jmap]
Japanese Reference Sources    Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Nyutabaru
新田原

Location  Shintomi Town, Miyazaki Prefecture
Established   Dec. 1, 1957

[Text pending]

Nyutabaru 1974Nyutabaru, 1974
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons)
 

F-104DJ Nyutabaru (Photo: JASDF Nyutabaru)

First F-4EJKai NyutabaruFirst F-4EJKai (Photo: JASDF Nyutabaru)

Nyutabaru towerNyutabaru tower, December 2008 (Photo: Sanjo via Wikimedia Commons) 

 Nyutabaru AB 
Based units  301st TFS, 5th Air Wing (F-4EJKai)

 Aggressor Sqn, Tactical Fighter Training Group (F-15DJ, T-4)

 Air Rescue Wing detachment (U-125A, UH-60J)

Contact points  Oaza Nyuta 19581, Shintomi Town, Koyu District, Miyazaki Prefecture 889-1492, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)983-35-1121

 Base PR Group ext. 5293

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/nyutabaru/

Nearest station  Hyuga-Shintomi 日向新富 ((Nippo Main Line日豊本線 /JR Kyushu)  [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 

Shizuhama
静浜

Location  Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Established   (JASDF) August 1958

[Text pending]

 

Shizuhama AB 
Based units  1st and 2nd Sqn, 11th Flight Training Wing (T-7)
Contact points  1602, Kamikosugi, Yaizu,

 Shizuoka Prefecture 421-0293, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)54-622-1234

 11th FTW External Relations Office (ext. 406)

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/shizuhama/shizuhama.html

Nearest station  Fukieda 藤枝 (Tokaido Main Line東海道本線 /JR East)  [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

 [Text pending]

 

 

Tsuiki
築城

Location  Chikujo Town, Fukuoka Prefecture
Established  Oct. 1, 1957

[Text pending]

Tsuiki 1974Tsuiki, 1974
(Photo: National Land Image Information [Color Aerial Photographs], Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism via Wikimedia Commons) 

 Tsuiki AB
Based units  6th TFS (F-2A/B, T-4); 304th TFS (F-15J/DJ, T-4)
Contact points  Nishihattabanchi, Chikujo Town, Chikujo District

 Fukuoka Prefecture 829-0151, Japan

 Tel. +81 (0)930-56-1150

 Base External Relations Office (ext. 443, 207)

 http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/tsuiki/

Nearest station  Tsuiki 築城 (Nippo Main Line日豊本線 /JR Kyushu)  [jmap]
 Japanese Reference Sources   Base website (accessed XXX)

 Base Watching Guide (Ikaros, 1996)

 Wikipedia

(All photographs on this website are copyright J-HangarSpace
unless otherwise stated.) 

logors25

Notices

Announcements

JASDF
2017 Airshow Dates
Mar. 5  Komaki
Apr. 2  Kumagaya

JASDF Hofu-Kita

May 21  Hofu-Kita
May 21  Shizuhama

Miho poster 2017

May 28  Miho
July 23  Chitose
Aug. 27  Matsushima
Sept. 10  Misawa
Sept.*  Komatsu
Oct. 15  Hamamatsu
Oct. 29  Hyakuri
  (SDF Review)
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. 19  Gifu
Nov. 25  Kasuga
Nov. 26  Tsuiki
Dec. 3  Nyutabaru
Dec. 9-10  Naha

2018 Airshow Dates
Feb. 18  Ashiya
Mar. 3  Komaki
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. *  Hyakuri

JGSDF
2017 Airshow Dates

Kisarazu 170225

Feb. 25  Kisarazu

Metabaru 2017

Apr. 1  Metabaru
(Cherry Blossom
    Festival on Apr. 2)

Somagahara 170408

Apr. 8  Somagahara
Apr. 9  Takayubaru

Apr. 16  Kasuminome
   (60th anniversary)

Utsunomiya 170416

Apr. 16  Utsunomiya
   (67th anniversary
   with parade/flypast)
May 21  Kasumigaura
   (64th anniversary)
May 28
    Kita-Utsunomiya
   (44th anniversary)
June 25  Okadama
Sept. 2  Obihiro

Kisarazu poster 2017

Sept. 10  Kisarazu
Oct. 15  Yao
Nov. 4  Akeno
Nov. 19  Naha
Nov. 23  Tachikawa

2018 Airshow Dates
Jan. 7  Kisarazu
Jan. 14  Narashino 

JMSDF
2017 Airshow Dates
Apr. 29  NAF Atsugi
Apr. 30  Kanoya
May 5  Iwakuni
(joint Friendship Day)
May 21  Omura
June 10  Ohminato
July 16 Komatsushima

Ozuki event July 2017

July 23  Ozuki
  (Children’s event)
July 29  Maizuru
July 29  Tateyama
Sept. 24  Hachinohe
Sept.*  Shimofusa
Sept.*  Tokushima
Oct.*  Ozuki
  (“Swell Festival”)

(*) Date to be confirmed

(Please note that air show dates are subject to change/cancellation.)

Ozuki poster 2016

Ozuki 2016 poster

Links

The Aviation Historian

Japan Association of Aviation Photo-
graphers
 (JAAP, Japanese only)

Asian Air Arms

Visitors
(from Feb. 2016, earlier shown below)

Visitors to Feb. 2016

Past visitors