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Naha Air Base (那覇基地, Naha Kichi), formally known as the Kōkū Jieitai Naha Kichi (航空自衛隊那覇基地), is an air base of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force formerly under control of the United States Air Force. It is located at Naha Airport on the Oroku Peninsula in Naha, Okinawa, Japan.[2][3]

Naha Air Base
16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Naha Air Base Okinawa 1966.jpg
PACAF 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron F-102 interceptors on the flight line, 1966
Airport typeAir force
ServesNaha, Okinawa, Japan
Elevation AMSL11 ft / 3 m
Coordinates26°11′45″N 127°38′45″E / 26.19583°N 127.64583°E / 26.19583; 127.64583Coordinates: 26°11′45″N 127°38′45″E / 26.19583°N 127.64583°E / 26.19583; 127.64583
ROAH is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Direction Length Surface
m ft
18/36 3,000 9,843 Asphalt
Source: Japanese AIP at AIS Japan[1]


Imperial PeriodEdit

Naha Airfield was constructed in 1933 as Oroku Naval Air Base, an air base of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). In 1936 control of the air base was transferred to the Japanese Ministry of Communications and formally renamed Naha Airfield. In 1942 control of the air base again reverted to the IJN, which reverted the name of the installation to Oroku Naval Air Base. The facility was captured by the United States during World War II in the Battle of Okinawa on 1 April 1945.[2]

US periodEdit

After World War II the installation became a major United States Air Force (USAF) base under the operational control of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), and was known as Naha Air Base (Naha AB). The installation became a joint military-civilian air field in 1954 with the resumption of civilian air service between Tokyo and Okinawa. The USAF ended its use of Naha AB on 31 May 1971 and control of civil aviation was transferred to the Japanese Ministry of Transportation, which established Naha Airport on the site; control of the military air field was officially transferred to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in 1979.[2]

Post-US periodEdit

Japanese F-15s have been stationed there, with a second squadron of F-15s added in 2014.[4]

Former USAF unitsEdit

Major USAF units assigned to Naha AB were:

16th Fighter Squadron, 22 May 1947 – 22 September 1950 (F-80 Shooting Star)
25th Fighter Squadron, 22 May 1947 – 22 September 1950 (F-80 Shooting Star)
26th Fighter Squadron, 22 May 1947 – 22 September 1950 (F-80 Shooting Star)
Assigned to: 347th Fighter (later Fighter-All Weather) Group, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa
Attached to: 51st Fighter (later Fighter-Interceptor) Group), 19 August 1948
Assigned to: Twentieth Air Force, 24 June 1950
Attached to: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 24 June 1950
Flight of 8 aircraft attached to 347th Provisional Fighter Group (All Weather), Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 27 June – 5 July 1950 for combat missions in Korea
Attached to: 6302d Air Base Group, 20 September 1950
Attached to: 6351st Air Base Wing, 25 June, 1951–16 February 1953
Assigned to: 6351st Air Base Wing, 25 February-1 August 1954
16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1 August 1954 – 31 May 1971, (F-86 Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger)
25th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1 August 1954 – 8 June 1960, (F-86 Sabre)
26th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1 August 1954 – 11 July 1955, (F-86 Sabre)
Assigned to: 313th Air Division, 15 March 1955 – 17 July 1960
Attached to: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 27 March 1958 – 17 July 1960
Assigned to: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 18 July 1960 – 20 May 1971
Assigned to: 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, 21 May 1971 – 8 July 1973
Assigned to: 483rd Troop Carrier Wing (1958–1960); 315th Air Division (1960–1963) 6315th Operations Group (1963–1966); 374th Tactical Airlift Wing (1966–1971)

Current SDF unitsEdit

Japan Air Self-Defense Force

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

  • 5th Air Fleet Squadron (P-3C)
  • Naha Base Squadron (UH-60J)

The Okinawa Prefectural Police, and the Japan Coast Guard also utilize facilities at Naha Airport.

As of 2013, funding in the region of ¥0.3 billion has been requested for preparing the base to host JASDF E-2C aircraft, including ¥70million for new repair and maintenance facilities.[5]


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ AIS Japan Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c "那覇空港" [Naha Airport]. Nihon Rekishi Chimei Taikei (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2013. OCLC 173191044. Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ 基地紹介 (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Ministry of Defense. 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  4. ^ Fackler, Martin; Forsythe, Michael (8 March 2015). "In a Test of Wills, Japanese Fighter Pilots Confront Chinese". New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  5. ^ Defense Programs and Budgets of Japan; Overview of FY2013 Budget Request Downloaded from Ministry of Defense english website on 5 June 2013.