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Yokota Air Base

Yokota Air Base

Overview
, is a United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 base in the city of Fussa
Fussa, Tokyo
is a city located in western Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 59,761 and a population density of 5,840 persons per km². The total area was 10.24 km²...

, one of 26 cities in the Tama Area, or Western Tokyo.

The base houses 14,000 personnel. The base occupies a total area of 136413 m² (163,148.6 sq yd) and has a 3353 metre runway. Among its facilities are the broadcast center for the American Forces Network
American Forces Network
The American Forces Network is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces American Forces Radio and Television Service for its entertainment and command internal information networks worldwide...

 Tokyo radio service and a detachment of PACAF's Band of the Pacific.

The host unit at Yokota is the 374th Airlift Wing
374th Airlift Wing
The 374th Airlift Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force assigned to Fifth Air Force. It is stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan. It is part of Pacific Air Forces ....

and is currently used for airlift missions throughout East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

.
Discussion
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
, is a United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 base in the city of Fussa
Fussa, Tokyo
is a city located in western Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 59,761 and a population density of 5,840 persons per km². The total area was 10.24 km²...

, one of 26 cities in the Tama Area, or Western Tokyo.

The base houses 14,000 personnel. The base occupies a total area of 136413 m² (163,148.6 sq yd) and has a 3353 metre runway. Among its facilities are the broadcast center for the American Forces Network
American Forces Network
The American Forces Network is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces American Forces Radio and Television Service for its entertainment and command internal information networks worldwide...

 Tokyo radio service and a detachment of PACAF's Band of the Pacific.

Units


The host unit at Yokota is the 374th Airlift Wing
374th Airlift Wing
The 374th Airlift Wing is a unit of the United States Air Force assigned to Fifth Air Force. It is stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan. It is part of Pacific Air Forces ....

and is currently used for airlift missions throughout East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. The 374th includes four groups: operations, mission support, maintenance and medical. Each group manages a various number of squadrons in order to carry out the wing's mission.
  • 374th Operations Group (Tail Code: YJ)
    The 374th Operations Group maintains a forward presence by providing rapid responsive movement of personnel, equipment and operational support in the Asia-Pacific region. The group consists of:
    • 374th Operations Support Squadron
    • 36th Airlift Squadron
      36th Airlift Squadron
      The 36th Airlift Squadron is the only forward-based tactical airlift squadron in the Pacific Area of Responsibility. Formerly an Air Mobility Command unit, and a Military Airlift Command and a Tactical Air Command unit before that, the squadron is now part of Pacific Air Forces...

       (Lockheed C-130H1 Hercules)
    • 459th Airlift Squadron
      459th Airlift Squadron
      The 459th Airlift Squadron is part of the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan. It operates UH-1 Iroquois and C-12J Huron aircraft providing aeromedical evacuation and search and rescue missions.-History:...

       (Bell UH-1N Iroquois (Huey)), (C-12J Huron
      C-12 Huron
      The C-12 Huron is the military designation for a series of twin-engine turboprop aircraft based on the Beechcraft Super King Air and Beechcraft 1900. C-12 variants are used by the United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Navy and United States Marine Corps...

      )


It is not uncommon to see a C-5
C-5 Galaxy
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It provides the United States Air Force with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize cargos, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many...

, KC-10, DC-8, C-17
C-17 Globemaster III
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. Developed for the United States Air Force from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas, the C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases throughout...

, L-100, civilian charter airline aircraft (Omni International, North American Airlines, World Airways, Ryan International, etc.) and cargo 747s on the Transient Aircraft ramp.
  • 374th Maintenance Group
    The 374th Maintenance Group maintains C-130H2, C-12 and UH-1N aircraft supporting intratheater airlift and distinguished visitor transport for Pacific Air Forces.

  • 374th Mission Support Group
    The 374th Mission Support Group is responsible to the 374th Airlift Wing Commander for command, control and direction of support activities to 374 AW and 32 tenant units to include HQ US Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force.

  • 374th Medical Group
    The 374th Medical Group, ensures medical readiness of 374 AW, 5 AF, and US Forces Japan personnel. They also maintain 64 War Reserve Materiel projects, including the USAF's largest Patient Movement Item inventory.

  • Associate/Tenant Units
    • U.S. Forces, Japan (USFJ) -- a nonoperational, politico-military unit that serves as the USPACOM front for US-Japanese military discussions.
    • Fifth Air Force
      Fifth Air Force
      The Fifth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces . It is headquartered at Yokota Air Base, Japan....

       (5AF) -- along with 13th AF, the air component to USPACOM.
    • 730th Air Mobility Squadron
      730th Air Mobility Squadron
      The 730th Air Mobility Squadron is a unit of the 515th Air Mobility Operations Group, based at Yokota AB, Japan and the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing, based at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.-Mission:...

    • Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia
    • Stars & Stripes
      Stars and Stripes (newspaper)
      Stars and Stripes is a news source that operates from inside the United States Department of Defense but is editorially separate from it. The First Amendment protection which Stars and Stripes enjoys is safeguarded by Congress to whom an independent ombudsman, who serves the readers' interests,...

    • American Forces Network
      American Forces Network
      The American Forces Network is the brand name used by the United States Armed Forces American Forces Radio and Television Service for its entertainment and command internal information networks worldwide...

    • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Activities Far East (FEACT) (inspection of ships bound for U.S. ports for port control and safety reasons).

  • 103rd Squadron, Civil Air Patrol
    Civil Air Patrol
    Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...


    The Civil Air Patrol
    Civil Air Patrol
    Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

    's Yokota Air Base Squadron 103 conducts operations at Yokota Air Base.

AMC passenger terminal


The newly-renovated Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

 (AMC) Passenger Terminal is on the main part of the base next to the flightline. It is a 5- to 7-minute walk from the Kanto Lodge (see below) and offers Space-Available
Space A Travel
Uniformed Services Space-A Travel or Department of Defense Military Space-Available Travel is a means by which uniformed members of United States services, reservists and retirees, United States Department of Defense civilian personnel , and each of these groups' dependents are permitted to travel...

 flights to various destinations in PACAF such as Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, as well as the Continental United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

History


The facility which houses Yokota Air Base was originally constructed by the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 in 1940 as Tama Airfield, and used as a flight test center. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 Yokota became the center of Japanese Army Air Forces flight test activities and the base was the site of the first meeting between Japanese and Italian wartime allies.

Tama was first identified by United States military forces in November 1944 by a 3d Reconnaissance Squadron F-13 Superfortress photo-reconnaissance aircraft, flying from Tinian in the Marianas. It was identified as being associated with a nearby Musashino-Nakajima aircraft manufacturing plant. Along with the Showa Air Base to the northwest, and Tachikawa Air Base to the east, it was compared to the aircraft development complex of the USAAF Wright-Paterson Field in Ohio. According to the USAAF intelligence at the time, the three bases conducted all IJA flight testing. In the spring of 1945, XXI Bomber Command
XXI Bomber Command
The XXI Bomber Command was a unit of the Twentieth Air Force in Guam for strategic bombing during World War II.- Lineage:* Constituted as XXI Bomber Command on 1 Mar 1944, and activated the same day.-Assignments:...

 attacked the base eight times along with the aircraft manufacturing plant, but each time heavy clouds forced the bombers to attack secondary targets. The Nakajima plant was finally attacked in April 1945, but the Tarma airfield never was bombed.

Postwar years


With the end of hostilities and the Japanese surrender in September 1945, a detachment of the United States Army 1st Cavalry Division arrived at the base on 4 September. Rhe airfield's buildings were largely intact, and some 280 of the IJA's most modern aircraft were discovered in hangars.
The 1st Cav named the facility Fussa Army Airfield, then renamed it Yokota Army Airfield at the end of September.

The initial USAAF use for the base was for airlift operations when the 2d Combat Cargo Group arrived with four C-47 Skytrain
C-47 Skytrain
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport aircraft that was developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remained in front line operations through the 1950s with a few remaining in operation to this day.-Design and...

 squadrons. When the old runway deteriorated under heavy usage, the runway was repaired and Yokota supported operations of the Douglas A-26 Invader
A-26 Invader
The Douglas A-26 Invader was a United States twin-engined light attack bomber built by the Douglas Aircraft Co. during World War II that also saw service during several of the Cold War's major conflicts...

-equipped 3d Bombardment Group by August 1946. Additional construction during the 1940s and 1950s was completed and the base reached its current size around 1960.
On the occasion of extension, the course of Hachiko Line
Hachiko Line
The is a 92.0 km regional railway line owned and operated by East Japan Railway Company . It is located within Tokyo, Saitama, and Gunma Prefectures in Japan. Its endpoints are Hachiōji Station in Hachiōji, Tokyo and Kuragano Station in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture.-Services:Komagawa Station in...

 and national highway Route 16
Route 16 (Japan)
National Route 16 is a national highway in Japan. A beltway around Tokyo, it links the major prefectural capital cities of Yokohama , Saitama , and Chiba as well as Hachiōji . It also serves Yokosuka and Sagamihara , Kasukabe , and Kisarazu...

 was changed, and Itsukaichi highway was divided.

During the initial postwar occupation years, Yokota hosted the following known USAAF/USAF units:
  • 20th Combat Mapping Group (October 1945 - April 1946) (F-7 (B-24) Liberator)
  • 8th Reconnaissance Group (June 1946 - October 1947) (F-7 (B-24) Liberator)
  • 71st Reconnaissance Group (February 1947 - April 1949)
    (RB-17, RB-29, RF-51, RF-61, and RF-80)


These units performed photographic reconnaissance and mapping of Japan and South Korea.
  • 6th Night Fighter Squadron (1946–47) (P-61A/B)
    Deactivated and redesignated as 339th Fighter Squadron (347th Fighter Group) with F-82F/G Twin Mustangs at Nagoya AB Japan.
  • 3d Emergency Rescue Squadron (July 1947 - April 1950) (SB-17G)
    Flew modified B-17G bombers equipped under their bellies with a 27-foot boat (termed the A-1
    A-1 lifeboat
    The A-1 lifeboat was a powered lifeboat that was made to be dropped by fixed-wing aircraft into water to aid in air-sea rescue operations. The sturdy airborne lifeboat was to be carried by a heavy bomber specially modified to handle the external load of the lifeboat...

    ) that could be dropped by parachute and which contained enough food, water, and clothing for twelve survivors to last for about twenty days in the ocean.

Korean War


During the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Yokota was used for combat missions over North and South Korea. Known units based there were:
  • Fighter units
    • 27th Fighter-Escort Wing
      27th Fighter Wing
      The 27th Special Operations Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. It is assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command...

      (November - December 1950)
      Flew F-84E Thunderjets on armed reconnaissance, interdiction, fighter escort, and close air support missions.
    • 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing
      35th Fighter Wing
      The 35th Fighter Wing is an air combat unit of the United States Air Force and the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The 35 FW is part of Pacific Air Forces Fifth Air Force.-Mission:...

      (April - August 1950)
      Flew Lockheed F-80Cs on air defense missions.
    • 339th Fighter-All Weather Squadron (April - August 1950)
      Attached to 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing
      35th Fighter Wing
      The 35th Fighter Wing is an air combat unit of the United States Air Force and the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The 35 FW is part of Pacific Air Forces Fifth Air Force.-Mission:...

       and flew F-82F/G Twin Mustang
      F-82 Twin Mustang
      The North American F-82 Twin Mustang was the last American piston-engine fighter ordered into production by the United States Air Force. Based on the P-51 Mustang, the F-82 was originally designed as a long-range escort fighter in World War II; however, the war ended well before the first...

       missions over South Korea
      South Korea
      The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

       during the first few months of hostilities.

  • Bombardment units
    • 325th, 326th, 327th Bombardment Squadrons (92d Bombardment Group) (July - October 1950)
      Deployed squadrons from Spokane AAFld (later, Fairchild AFB), Washington. Flew B-29 Bombing missions over North Korea
      North Korea
      The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

      .
    • 98th Bombardment Wing
      98th Range Wing
      The 98th Range Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Air Warfare Center. The unit is stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada as a tenant unit....

      (343d, 344th, 345th Bomb Squadrons) (August 1950 - July 1954)
      Group, then Wing deployed from Spokane AAFld (later, Fairchild AFB), Washington. Flew B-29 Bombing missions over North Korea
      North Korea
      The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

      . Two after arriving at Yokota, the squadrons a bomb mission against marshalling yards at Pyongyang
      Pyongyang
      Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

      , North Korea. The 98th BG engaged primarily in interdiction of enemy communications centers but also supported UN ground forces. Interdiction targets included marshalling yards, oil centers, rail facilities, bridges, roads, troop concentrations, airfields, and military installations.

  • Reconnaissance units
    • 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Photographic (July–August 1950)
      Flew combat missions to provide FEAF Bomber Command with target and bomb-damage assessment photography.
    • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium, Photographic (December 1950 - December 1954)
      Assigned to 407th Strategic Fighter Wing (1953–54) See 91st Intelligence Squadron
      Absorbed the personnel and resources of the 31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron in Japan. Using RB-29, RB-45
      B-45 Tornado
      The North American B-45 Tornado was the United States Air Force's first operational jet bomber, and the first jet aircraft to be refueled in the air. The B-45 was an important part of the United States's nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was rapidly succeeded by the Boeing...

      , RB-50 and RB-36
      Convair B-36
      The Convair B-36 "Peacemaker" was a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated solely by the United States Air Force from 1949 to 1959. The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made. It had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built , although there have...

       aircraft, it performed target and bomb-damage assessment photo and visual reconnaissance for FEAF Bomber Command, flew other special photographic missions, and conducted electronic "ferret" reconnaissance to determine frequency, location, and other characteristics of enemy ground radar. The squadron also performed shipping surveillance over the Sea of Japan
      Sea of Japan
      The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

       near the Siberia
      Siberia
      Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

      n coast and leaflet drops over North Korea. Beginning in late 1952, rotating aircrews of the Philippine-based 581st Air Resupply and Communications Wing augmented the 91st SRS in flying leaflet missions.
    • 512th Bombardment Squadron (January - August 1950)
      Operated the B/RB/WB-29 aircraft and flew weather reconnaissance missions.
    • 56th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (September 1951 - July 1972)
      Replaced the 512th Bomb Squadron in their weather reconnaissance mission. They operated WB-50, WC-135B and RB-57 aircraft used to sample airborne nuclear debris as well as weather patterns in the Pacific.
      • In fact, the 56th was first the 56th Strategic Recon Squadron. It became the 56th WRS later. And, for several years the only aircraft were modified B-29s.

About 1957 the B-29's began to be replaced with B-50's, and the unit continued to fly two missions a day, plus flying into any typhoons in the South Pacific. In 1957 the 56th lost a plane coming back from a mission, as it crashed into a hill not far from the base. All on board were killed.

Cold War


With the hostilities in Korea ending in 1953, Yokota Air Base returned to a peacetime Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 status. Two major wings were stationed at the base during the 1950s, the 67th Reconnaissance Wing (1956–60) flying RF-80s, RF-84s and lastly RF-101s. The 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (1954–57) flew F-86 Sabres from the base. A Tactical Air Command
Tactical Air Command
Tactical Air Command is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force, established on 21 March 1946 being headquartered at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia...

 air refueling unit, the 421st Air Refueling Squadron Flew KB-29s,and later KB-50Js from Yokota from 1953-65. All of these units were under the command of the 41st Air Division.

The 35th TFW was reassigned in 1957 and the 67th TRW in 1960. Worldwide DOD Budget restrictions in the late 1950s caused several PACAF wings based in Japan to be reassigned or deactivated. These tactical fighter units were replaced by the Martin B-57 equipped 3rd Bombardment Wing where it trained in bombardment, reconnaissance and aerial refueling operations. The Air Defense Command 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (December 1961 - May 1962) equipped with the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger stood an air defense mission.

The 6102d Air Base Wing assumed host unit status for the base, being replaced by the 6144th TFW (both temporary units) in 1964.

The Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 resulted in an increased combat and airlift aircraft presence at the base. Yokota was used for ferrying B-52s to Southeast Asia along with being a base for US-based deployed F-105 Tactical Fighter Squadrons (35th, 36th, 80th). The 610th Military Airlift Support Squadron (1966–78) was created by Military Airlift Command
Military Airlift Command
The Military Airlift Command is an inactive United States Air Force Major Command of the USAF which was headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. It was constituted on 1 January 1966 and active until the end of the Cold War, when the Air Force table of organization was revised...

 to service the large increase in transiting airlift. The 65th Military Airlift Support Group (1969–71) was a headquarters organization for MAC airlift support squadrons in the Pacific and Far East.

The F-105 squadrons deployed frequently to USAF-operated bases in Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 to fly combat missions over North
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

 and South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

, and to South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 for alert missions. Initially the fighter squadrons were under the command of the 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, activated in July 1964 to control the F-105 squadrons after their parent organization, the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing
8th Fighter Wing
The United States Air Force 8th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea and is assigned to Seventh Air Force...

, relocated to George Air Force Base
George Air Force Base
George Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base located within city limits, 8 miles northwest of central Victorville, California, about 75 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. The facility was closed by the Base Realignment and Closure 1992 commission at the end of the Cold...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, to become a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II unit. With the reassignment of the 347th Fighter Wing to Yokota in 1968, the 347th assumed responsibility for all tactical fighters until its reassignment to Kunsan AB, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, in March 1971.

In 1971, all combat squadrons were transferred to Kadena
Kadena Air Base
, is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena and Chatan and the city of Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Kadena Air Base is the hub of U.S. airpower in the Pacific, and home to the USAF's 18th Wing and a variety of associate units.-Units:The 18th Wing is the host unit at Kadena...

 and Misawa Air Base
Misawa Air Base
right|thumb|A US Navy C-2 at Misawa is a United States military facility located northeast of the railway station in Misawa, west of the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Towada, northwest of Hachinohe, and north of Tokyo, in Aomori Prefecture, in the Tōhoku region in the northern part of the...

 and Yokota became a non-flying station hosted by the 475th Air Base Wing
475th Air Base Wing
The 475th Air Base Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last duty station was at Yokota Air Base, Japan, where it was inactivated on 1 April 1992....

. The 475th had no numbered flying squadrons, but operated a few T-39 Saberliners and UH-1 helicopters, along with supporting transient MAC cargo and passenger aircraft. Assigned flying squadrons returned to Yokota in 1975 when the 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron was assigned with its C-130Es.

Headquarters, Fifth Air Force
Fifth Air Force
The Fifth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces . It is headquartered at Yokota Air Base, Japan....

 was transferred to Yokota on November 11, 1974, being transferred from Fuchu AS, Japan.

Modern era


In 2005, the Japanese government announced that the headquarters of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Japan Air Self-Defense Force
The , or JASDF, is the aviation branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces responsible for the defense of Japanese airspace and other aerospace operations. The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan, while also maintaining an extensive network of ground and air early warning radar systems...

 would be moved to Yokota.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has advocated opening Yokota to civilian flights, as a method of relieving traffic at Haneda
Tokyo International Airport
, commonly known as , is one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. It is located in Ōta, Tokyo, south of Tokyo Station....

 and Narita Airport.
In April 2010 Colonel Frank Eppich, the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 commander of base, banned screenings of the film The Cove at the base theater. A base spokesman said that The Cove was banned because using a base venue to display the film could be seen as an endorsement of the film. The spokesman added, "We have a lot of issues with Japan...and anything done on an American base would be seen as an approval of that event."

Personnel and aircraft from the base assisted with Operation Tomodachi
Operation Tomodachi
is a United States Armed Forces assistance operation to support Japan in disaster relief following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. As of March 22, 2011, twenty U.S. naval ships, 140 aircraft, and 19,703 Marines and Sailors were involved in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief...

 following and during the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

 and Fukushima I nuclear accidents. The base also served as an important hub for airlifted assistance during the disaster recovery efforts. During the crisis, around 600 American family members voluntarily departed the base for locations outside Japan.

Major commands to which assigned

  • 1st Cavalry Division, United States Army Forces Pacific, (September 1945)
  • Pacific Air Command US Army, (September 1945 - January 1947)
  • Far East Air Forces (January 1947 - July 1957)
  • Pacific Air Forces (July 1957–present)

Base operating units



  • 384th Service Group (September 1945 - April 1946)
  • 7th Air Service Group (April 1946 - April 1947)
  • 29th Air Service Group (April 1947 - August 1948)
  • 3d Bombardment Wing (August 1948 - April 1950)
  • 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (April - August 1950)
  • 3d Bombardment Wing (August - December 1950)
  • 6161st Air Base Wing (December 1950 - October 1954)

  • 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (October 1954 - July 1957)
  • 6102d Air Base Wing (July 1957 - January 1964)
  • 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing (January 1964 - January 1968)
  • 347th Tactical Fighter Wing (January 1968 - May 1971)
  • 475th Air Base Wing
    475th Air Base Wing
    The 475th Air Base Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last duty station was at Yokota Air Base, Japan, where it was inactivated on 1 April 1992....

     (November 1971 - April 1992)
  • 374th Airlift Wing (April 1992–present)


Major USAF units



  • 20th Combat Mapping Group (1945–46)
  • 8th Reconnaissance Group (1946–47)
  • 3d Bombardment Wing (1946–50, 1960–64)
  • 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group
    71st Flying Training Wing
    The 71st Flying Training Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Education and Training Command Nineteenth Air Force. It is stationed at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma where it also is the host unit....

     (1948–49)
  • 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing
    35th Fighter Wing
    The 35th Fighter Wing is an air combat unit of the United States Air Force and the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The 35 FW is part of Pacific Air Forces Fifth Air Force.-Mission:...

     (1950, 1954–57)
  • 98th Bombardment Wing
    98th Range Wing
    The 98th Range Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Air Warfare Center. The unit is stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada as a tenant unit....

     (1950–1954)
  • 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (1950–1954)
  • 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
    67th Network Warfare Wing
    The 67th Network Warfare Wing , Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was reactivated October 1, 1993 as the 67th Intelligence Wing. The wing was re-designated the 67th Information Operations Wing on February 1, 2001...

     (1956–60)
  • 41st Air Division (1957–68)
  • 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (1961–62)

  • 56th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (1951–72)
  • 421st Air Refueling Squadron (1953–65)
  • 610th Military Airlift Support Squadron (1966–78)
  • 65th Military Airlift Group
    65th Air Base Wing
    The 65th Air Base Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Lajes Air Base, Azores, Portugal.-Mission:The wing provides base and en route support for Department of Defense, allied nations and other authorized aircraft in transit, including those from the Netherlands, Belgium,...

     (1967–69)
  • 65th Military Airlift Support Group (1969–71)
  • 347th Tactical Fighter Wing
    347th Rescue Wing
    The 347th Rescue Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command, stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. It was inactivated on 1 October 2006...

     (1968–71)
  • 556th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (1970s)
  • 1956th Communications Group/Information Systems Group (1974 - April 1992)
  • 20th Operational Weather Squadron.
  • 30th Airlift Squadron (Aeromedical Evacuation)


A.Assigned to 2143rd Air Weather Wing at Andersen AFB, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

.



Yokota has provided support for fighter, bomber, and military airlift operations, hosting B-26 Invader
A-26 Invader
The Douglas A-26 Invader was a United States twin-engined light attack bomber built by the Douglas Aircraft Co. during World War II that also saw service during several of the Cold War's major conflicts...

, B/RB-29 Superfortress, P/F-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts...

, KB-50J Aerial Tankers
B-50 Superfortress
The Boeing B-50 Superfortress strategic bomber was a post-World War II revision of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, fitted with more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial engines, stronger structure, a taller fin, and other improvements. It was the last piston-engined bomber designed by Boeing for...

, F-94 Starfire, B/RB-57 Canberra
B-57 Canberra
The Martin B-57 Canberra was a United States-built, twin jet engine light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, which entered service with the United States Air Force in 1953. The B-57 was initially a version of the English Electric Canberra built under license. However, the Glenn L...

, C-54 Skymaster
C-54 Skymaster
The Douglas C-54 Skymaster was a four-engined transport aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces and British forces in World War II and the Korean War. Besides transport of cargo, it also carried presidents, British heads of government, and military staff...

, F-86D Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger
F-102 Delta Dagger
The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets...

, McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...

, F-100 Super Sabre
F-100 Super Sabre
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard until 1979. The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of...

, F-105 Thunderchief
F-105 Thunderchief
The Republic F-105 Thunderchief, was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. The Mach 2 capable F-105 conducted the majority of strike bombing missions during the early years of the Vietnam War; it has the dubious distinction of being the only US aircraft to have been...

, C-5 Galaxy
C-5 Galaxy
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It provides the United States Air Force with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize cargos, including all air-certifiable cargo. The Galaxy has many...

, C-141 Starlifter
C-141 Starlifter
The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter in service with the Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force...

, and C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

 units.

Friendship Festival


Each year in August, Yokota Air Base opens the gates to the Japanese community for its
annual Friendship Festival. For two days, local residents can
learn about Yokota Air Base. Food and events are provided for all ages. Roughly 200,000 visitors show up each year, although non-Japanese visitors may be turned away from the gates for security reasons.

For those 2 days, visitors are able to examine many types of aircraft and even tour
some of the large cargo planes from inside.

Hotels and lodging


Kanto Lodge - DSN (315) 224-2000

The Kanto Lodge is one of PACAF's largest hotel operations. Each year, over 130,000
personnel are housed in the Kanto Lodge's eleven on-base facilities. The 125-room Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF) opened in the summer of 2001 .

Education


The Department of Defense Education Activity
Department of Defense Education Activity
The Department of Defense Education Activity is a civilian agency of the United States Department of Defense that manages all schools for military children and teenagers, as well as foreign service children and teenagers, in the United States and also overseas at American military bases worldwide...

 operates schools at Yokota for children of personnel assigned to the base.
  • Joan K. Mendel Elementary School (formerly known as Yokota East Elementary School)
  • Yokota West Elementary School

  • Yokota Middle School: School Dedication Ceremony took place on 13 June 2000. YMS initial year began with only grades 7 and 8, with the upstairs specialty wing housing High School classes until construction modifications to YHS were competed. Class officially began August 2000.
  • Yokota High School


Higher educational opportunities for those in the military and working for the Department of Defense, as well as for family members at Yokota are available through several contracted academic institutions. For example:

The base was the setting of Almost Transparent Blue
Almost Transparent Blue
is a novel by Japanese author Ryū Murakami, published in 1976. Murakami directed a film adaptation in 1979. -Plot:Narrated by the main character Ryū the novel focuses on his small group of young friends in the mid-seventies. Living in a Japanese town with an American air force base, their lives...

, a best-selling novel written by Ryu Murakami
Ryu Murakami
is a Japanese novelist and filmmaker. He is colloquially referred to as the "Maradona of Japanese literature".-Biography:Born as Ryūnosuke Murakami in Sasebo, Nagasaki on February 19, 1952...

 and published in 1976. It is also the setting of parts of The Yokota Officers Club : A Novel by Sarah Bird
Sarah Bird
Sarah Bird is an American novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. She was born in 1949 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her father was an officer in the US Air Force, and her family , including her mother, Colista Bird, travelled with him around the US and the world during her childhood...

.

External links