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The 1st Helicopter Brigade (第1ヘリコプター団, Dai-ichi Herikoputa-Dan) is based at JGSDF Camp Kisarazu in Kisarazu, in the Chiba Prefecture.[1] Formerly an independent brigade, it was attached to the Central Readiness Force on March 28, 2007.[2] Like most JGSDF units, the brigade's aircraft are deployed to conduct exercises from their Kisarazu base annually during the New Year period.[3]

1st Helicopter Brigade
ActiveMarch 20, 1959 – present
Country Japan
Branch Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
TypeArmy aviation brigade
RoleProvide aviation support to Ground Component Command (陸上総隊)
Size900 soldiers
Part ofGround Component Command (陸上総隊)
Garrison/HQKisarazu, Chiba, Chiba

The brigade would operate under the Ground Component Command (陸上総隊) (formerly Central Readiness Force) as a supporting unit for the Central Readiness Regiment (CRR), 1st Airborne Brigade and the Japanese Special Forces Group (SFGp) if deployed into a combat zone.[4][5] Prior to the brigade's integration into the Central Readiness Force, it had been actively involved in civil disaster operations in response to natural disasters such as forest fires and earthquakes.[6]



The 1st Helicopter Brigade was first established on March 20, 1959, by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Aviation School at JGSDF Camp Kasumigaura in Kasumigaura, Ibaraki. After the brigade was established, two helicopter companies were created on March 1, 1968, during a period of reorganization.[citation needed]

The 1st Helicopter Company was stationed at JGSDF Camp Kisarazu on March 22, 1968, with the 2nd Helicopter Company arriving on June 1, 1968. A special transport squad was established in the brigade on December 19, 1986. Another period of reorganization began on March 27, 2006, when a communications and reconnaissance squad was added to the unit. On March 28, 2007, the 1st Helicopter Brigade was formally incorporated into the Central Readiness Force.[2]

The brigade was deployed by the Central Readiness Force on its first operation to subdue wildfires in the forests of the Yamanashi Prefecture on April 29, 2007.[7] They have been also deployed on humanitarian operations, specifically in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake.[6]

Aircraft in serviceEdit

A Japanese CH-47 helicopter

The 1st Helicopter Brigade currently utilize the following aircraft for the Central Readiness Force:[8]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Notes
Boeing CH-47 Chinook   Japan Transport helicopter CH-47J
Built by Kawasaki
Eurocopter EC 225[9]   France VIP helicopter EC 225LP
Kawasaki OH-1   Japan Scout helicopter Built by Kawasaki
MD Helicopters MD 500   United States Scout helicopter OH-6D
Built by Kawasaki
Mitsubishi MU-2   Japan Liaison LR-1
Beechcraft Super King Air   United States Utility transport LR-2
Mitsubishi H-60   Japan Transport helicopter UH-60JA Built by Mitsubishi


  • Headquarters
    • Headquarters and Service Company (OH-6D)
  • 1st Transportation Helicopter Group
    • 103rd Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
    • 104th Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
    • 105th Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
    • 106th Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
  • 102nd Flight Squadron (UH-60JA,OH-6D)
  • Special transportation helicopter Squadron (EC 225LP)
  • Communications and Reconnaissance Squadron (LR-1, LR-2)
  • Field Maintenance Party


  1. ^ "Facilities – Japan Ground Self Defence Force". Global Security. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2008-01-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ 平成22年 習志野 第1空挺団 降下訓練始め (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  4. ^ "What is the CRF (Central Readiness Force)?". Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  5. ^ 陸自の中央即応集団が廃止 座間駐屯地に5年 Retrieved 18 June, 2018 ‹See Tfd›(in Japanese)
  6. ^ a b [1]
  7. ^ 山梨県甲州市勝沼町山林火災災害派遣 (第1ヘリコプター団). Archived 2011-08-25 at WebCite Retrieved on August 24, 2011. ‹See Tfd›(in Japanese)
  8. ^ "Archived copy" 第1ヘリコプター団の装備機 (in Japanese). Central Readiness Force. Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2011-04-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Japan Defense Agency received first EC225 in VIP configuration for the Japanese Emperor's Royal Flight Service". EADS. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2011-04-03.

External linksEdit