Authors & Photographers: Ian French & Jon Astley

Naha Airfield was constructed in 1933 as Oroku Naval Air Base under the command of the Imperial Japanese Navy.  After the end of World War II the airfield was upgraded and became a base for the United States military.  It was returned to Japanese control in 1982.  Today the base is undergoing extensive development to add a second runway on reclaimed land and is expected to be completed in 2020. 

Each of Japan’s armed forces are represented at Naha:

Nansei Koku Konseidan (Southwestern Composite Air Division) of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force

  9th Kokudan (Air Wing)

       204th Hikotai (Squadron) with F-15J/DJ & T-4

       304th Hikotai with F-15J/DJ & T-4

       Nansei Shireibu Shien Hikohan (HQ Squadron) with T-4

  Keikai Kokutai (AEW Group)

       603rd Hikotai with E-2C

  Koku Kyunandan (Air Rescue Wing)

       Naha Herikoputa Kuuyutai (Helicopter Transport Squadron) with CH-47JA

       Naha Kyunantai (Rescue Flight) with UH-60J & U-125A

Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force

  5th Kokugun (Air Wing)

       5th Kokutai (Air Squadron) with P-3C

Seibu Homentai (Western Army) of the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force

  15th Ryodan (Brigade)

       15th Hikotai with CH-47JA, LR-2 & UH-60J

Japanese Coast Guard

  11th Coast Guard Region with AW139, DHC-8-Q315MPA & Falcon 900MSA

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