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JGSDF Primary Air Unit Order of Battle

(As at April 1, 2020)

ch-47j pairDrafted in from Kisarazu Army Camp, a pair of 106th Sqn CH-47J Chinook heavy-lift helicopters pass each other as they fly members of the public along the runway at Tachikawa.

JGSDF AH-64DA JGSDF ground crew member moves to finish positioning the chocks around the wheels of a Fuji-Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow at Camp Kita-Utsunomiya in May 2013. Primarily for reasons of 
cost and delivery time span, Japan halted the type’s licence production at the 13th airframe.

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


Northern Region Army (HQ: Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture)

Northern Region
Aviation Group
(Okadama, Hokkaido)

Northern Region Air Sqn LR-2

Northern Region
Helicopter Sqn
(Okadama, Hokkaido)

HQ Flt UH-1J
1st Flt UH-1J
2nd Flt

1st Anti-Tank Helicopter Sqn
(Obihiro, Hokkaido)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt AH-1S
2nd Flt
Units attached to JGSDF Brigades/Divisions
2nd Div. (Asahikawa) 2nd AvSqn Asahikawa, Hokkaido UH-1J
5th Brigade (Obihiro) 5th AvSqn Obihiro, Hokkaido
7th Div. (Higashi-Chitose) 7th AvSqn Okadama, Hokkaido
11th Brigade (Makonai) 11th AvSqn

jgsdf ah-1s winterA pair of 1st Anti-Tank Helicopter Squadron AH-1S helicopters take part in a winter training exercise.
(Photo: JGSDF)

 uh-1j snowA Fuji-Bell UH-1J assigned to a Northern Region Army division causes a mini snowstorm close to a
tank column.
(Photo: JGSDF)

Northeastern Region Army (HQ: Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture)

Northeastern Region
Aviation Group
(Kasuminome, Miyagi)

Northeastern Region
Helicopter Sqn
(Kasuminome, Miyagi)

HQ Flt UH-1J
1st Flt UH-1J
2nd Flt

2nd Anti-Tank Helicopter Sqn
(Hachinohe, Aomori)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt AH-1S
2nd Flt
Units attached to JGSDF Divisions
6th Div. (Jinmachi) 6th AvSqn Jinmachi, Yamagata UH-1J
9th Div. (Aomori) 9th AvSqn Hachinohe, Aomori UH-1J

OH-1 KasumigauraAlthough still bearing the Hachinohe-based 2nd Anti-Tank Helicopter Sqn’s “IIATH” code aft of its
cockpit, this OH-1 was being operated at the Kasumigaura Aviation School, Ibaraki Prefecture,
in May 2014. Note the airliner, presumably departing from Ibaraki Airport, being pointed out 
by the tail aerial. All OH-1s were grounded following an accident in December 2015 and
only returned to service in March 2019.
(See Bulletin Board, March 1, 2019)

Eastern Region Army (HQ: Asaka, Saitama Prefecture)
Eastern Region
Aviation Group
(Tachikawa, Tokyo)

Eastern Region
Helicopter Sqn
(Tachikawa, Tokyo)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt


2nd Flt

4th Anti-Tank
Helicopter Sqn
(Kisarazu, Chiba)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt AH-1S
2nd Flt
* According to April 2020 issue of Koku Fan, also still operating UH-1H 
Units attached to JGSDF Brigades/Divisions
1st Div. (Nerima) 1st AvSqn Tachikawa, Tokyo UH-1J
12th Brigade
Helicopter Sqn
Soumagahara, Gunma
(1st Flt at Kita-Utsunomiya,
HQ Flt UH-1J
1st Flt UH-60JA
2nd Flt CH-47J/JA

EH uh-1jAircraft assigned to the Eastern Region Helicopter Squadron’s 1st Flight have a white “V” nose marking and a single white fuselage stripe.

tachikawa ah-1
(Above) A Fuji-built AH-1S Cobra from the 4th Anti-Tank Helicopter Sqn at Kisarazu Army Camp. (Below) An aircraft from the same unit has its engine changed by Eastern Army Aviation flight maintenance personnel at Tachikawa.

ah-1s engine change

oh-1 tachikawaA ground crew member waves as a Kawasaki OH-1 assigned to the Eastern Region Helicopter Squadron’s HQ Flight inches airborne at Tachikawa Army Camp.

uh-1j tachikawaThe marking on the nose and main fuselage door of this UH-1J denotes an aircraft from the
Tachikawa-based 1st Division’s 1st Aviation Squadron.
The following three photos show a Mitsubishi-built UH-60JA stripped down in the maintenance hangar at Kita-Utsunomiya; the tail marking identifies the aircraft as belonging to the
1st Flight of the 12th Helicopter Squadron.

stripped-down uh-60j
stripped-down uh-60ja(2)
stripped-down uh-60ja (3)
uh-60ja kisarazuThe JGSDF received its 40th and newest UH-60JA late in 2016.

Central Region Army (HQ: Itami, Hyogo Prefecture)

Central Region
Aviation Group
(Yao, Osaka)

Central Region Helicopter Sqn
(Yao, Osaka)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt UH-1J
2nd Flt
3rd Flt* CH-47JA

5th Anti-Tank Helicopter Sqn
(Akeno, Mie)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt AH-1S
Units attached to JGSDF Brigades/Divisions
3rd Div. (Senzo) 3rd AvSqn Yao, Osaka UH-1J

10th Div. (Moriyama) 10th AvSqn Akeno, Mie
13th Brigade (Kaitaichi) 13th AvSqn Hofu, Yamaguchi
14th Brigade (Zentsuji) 14th AvSqn Kita-Tokushima, Tokushima

(*) The 3rd Flight formed with two CH-47Js at Camp Yonago/JASDF Miho, Tottori Prefecture, on March 27, 2018. 

Western Region Army (HQ: Kengun, Kumamoto Prefecture)

Western Region
Aviation Group
(Takayubaru, Kumamoto)

Western Region Air Sqn LR-2

Western Region
Helicopter Sqn
(Metabaru, Saga)

HQ Flt UH-1J
1st Flt UH-60JA
2nd Flt UH-1J
3rd Flt** CH-47J/JA

3rd Anti-Tank Helicopter Sqn
(Metabaru, Saga)

HQ Flt OH-1
1st Flt AH-1S
2nd Flt AH-64D (Note 1)
Units attached to JGSDF Brigades/Divisions
4th Div. (Kasuga) 4th AvSqn Metabaru, Saga UH-1J
8th Div. (Kita-Kumamoto) 8th AvSqn Takayubaru, Kumamoto
15th Brigade (Naha) 15th Helicopter Unit Naha, Okinawa

HQ Flt: LR-2
1st Flt: UH-60JA
2nd Flt: CH-47JA

(**) Based at Takayubaru, Kumamoto
Note 1: All AH-64Ds remain grounded pending the results of the inquiry into the fatal crash that occurred on February 2, 2018.

jgsdf uh-1jWhile implementing extensive mission and command structure changes under its previous Medium-Term Defense Plan, the JGSDF selected the Bell 412EPI for its UH-X requirement to replace the UH-1J workhorse utility helicopter (above)(Photo: JGSDF) 

Central Readiness Force*** (HQ: Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture)

1st Helicopter Brigade***
(Kisarazu, Chiba)

1st Transport
Helicopter Group
103rd Sqn CH-47J/JA
104th Sqn
105th Sqn
106th Sqn
102nd Sqn UH-60JA
Special Transport Helicopter Sqn EC225LP
Liaison/Reconnaissance Flight LR-2

(***) In a move associated with the activation of  the JGSDF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade on April 7, 2018, the command of the 1st Transport Helicopter Brigade passed to the direct command of the Ground Staff Office. 

ch-47grass  A hovering CH-47JA from the Kisarazu-based 1st Transport Helicopter Group kicks up a grass storm.       

jgsdf ec225lp
(Above and below) Two of the three Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) EC225LPs operated by the Special Transport Helicopter Squadron.


Aviation Schools (HQ: Akeno, Mie Prefecture)
Main Aviation School Akeno AH-1S, AH-64D, CH-47JA, OH-1, TH-480B, UH-1J, UH-60JA
Branch Aviation Schools Kasumigaura, Ibaraki AH-1S, AH-64D, CH-47J, OH-1, UH-1J, UH-60JA
Utsunomiya, Tochigi TH-480B, UH-1J
Training Support Flights Akeno AH-1S, AH-64D, CH-47J/JA, OH-1, UH-1J, UH-60JA
Takigahara, Shizuoka UH-1J

akeno ch-47jaA CH-47JA assigned to the Training Support Flight at Akeno, Mie Prefecture. (Photo: JGSDF)

CH-47J Kasumigaura
Two aircraft assigned to the branch Aviation School at Kasumigaura, Ibaraki Prefecture: an early-model CH-47J  (above), with the school’s “SK” identification code visible aft of the cockpit,
and an AH-64D Apache Longbow (below).

Kasumigaura AH-64D

The Raytheon (Beechcraft) LR-2 assigned to the branch of the JGSDF Aviation School at
Kita-Utsunomiya speeds in to land, while one of the based Fuji-Bell UH-1Js
(below) stands at ease.

Research Headquarters (HQ: Asaka, Saitama Prefecture)
Development and Experimental Group Fuji, Shizuoka
Experimental Flying Unit Akeno, Mie OH-1, XUH-2

th-480The latest type to be added to the JGSDF’s inventory is the Enstrom TH-480B training helicopter, 26 of which were in service by mid-January 2015. Interestingly, Enstrom was acquired by China’s Chongqing Helicopter Investment Corporation in January 2013.


In early 2020 still operated by the 3rd, 4th, 8th and 13th AvSqns, the 102nd Sqn as well as the HQ Flight of the 12th Helicopter Squadron, which flew the last mission, the OH-6D was officially withdrawn from service on March 31. 

OH-6D RikuzentakataAn OH-6D from the Northern Region Helicopter Squadron hovers over the scene of devastation in
Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, on April 12, 2011. The building on the left was the pharmacy 
near the station in the city that suffered the most catastrophic damage of any of those affected
by the March 11 tsunami. Like its sister services, the JGSDF plays a vital role as a first
responder and in ongoing rescue operations at times of natural disasters.
(Photo: Japan Ministry of Defense via Wikimedia Commons)

oh-6dThe tail marking of this OH-6D denoted an aircraft assigned to the 1st Division’s 1st AvSqn at Tachikawa.



Airshows in 2020
Apr. 5  Kumagaya
May 24  Hofu
May 24  Shizuhama
June*  Miho
July 19  Chitose
Aug. 23  Matsushima
Sept.*  Komatsu
Sept.*  Misawa
Oct.*  Ashiya
Oct.*  Hamamatsu
Oct.*  Hyakuri
  (SDF Review)
Oct.*  Komaki
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov.*  Gifu
Dec.*  Tsuiki
Dec.*  Naha
Dec.*  Nyutabaru

Airshows in 2019
Komaki 2019 poster
Mar. 2  Komaki
Apr. 14  Kumagaya
May 19  Shizuhama
June 2  Hofu-Kita
June 2  Miho
Aug. 4  Chitose
Aug. 25  Matsushima
Sept. 8  Misawa
Sept. 16  Komatsu
Oct. 13  Ashiya
Oct. 20  Hamamatsu
Nov. 3  Iruma
Nov. 9  Komaki
Nov. 10  Gifu 
Nov. 23  Kasuga
Dec. 1  Hyakuri
Dec. 7-8  Naha
Dec. 8  Tsuiki
Dec. 15  Nyutabaru



Airshows in 2020
Jan. 12  Narashino
(paratroop display)
Apr. 11 Somagahara

May 24  Okadama
Oct.*  Kisarazu
Oct.*  Metabaru
Oct.*  Yao
Nov.*  Akeno
Nov.*  Tachikawa

Airshows in 2019
narashino1ab2019koukahajimersJan. 13  Narashino
 (paratroop display)
Apr. 13  Kasuminome
Apr. 13  Somagahara
May 12  Takayubaru
June 1  Kasumigaura
June 16  Kita-Utsunomiya
June 23  Okadama
Oct. 6  Metabaru
Nov. 3  Akeno
Nov. 9  Tachikawa
Nov. 17  Naha
Nov. 24  Yao
Dec. 8  Kisarazu



Airshows in 2020
Apr. 11 Atsugi
(joint Friendship Day/
Apr. 26  Kanoya
May 5  Iwakuni
(joint Friendship Day/
Oct.*  Ozuki
Oct.*  Shimofusa
Nov.*  Tokushima

Airshows in 2019
Apr. 27  Atsugi
Apr. 28  Kanoya
May 5  Iwakuni
(joint Friendship Day)
May 18  Maizuru
May 19  Ohmura
July 13-14
July 27  Tateyama
Sept. 21  Hachinohe

Oct. 20  Ozuki
Oct. 26 Shimofusa
Nov. 17  Tokushima



(*) Date to be confirmed

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


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