Atsugi Kaigun-hikojo & Iruma-kichi

8th of May.

After a good sleep in Tokyo we started our next day.

First stop was NAF Atsugi, not far away from our hotel. Unfortunately, the weather was not so good but luckily it didn't rain to start the day.

1 runway : 01/19 (2,438 m)

NAF Atsugi is located in the cities of Yamato & Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Until 2017-2018 this base hosted the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Five.

During our visit CVW-5 was already relocated towards Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

Currently based on NAF Atsugi are fleet Air Wing 4 of the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 51 with MH-60R helicopters.

As of 2018, the following units are based on NAF Atsugi. (JMSDF)

  • Fleet Air Wing 4, Air Patrol Squadron 3 using Lockheed P-3C Orion & Kawasaki P-1
  • Air Transport Squadron 61 with Lockheed C-130R Hercules & LC-90
  • Air Development Squadron 51 flying P-1, UP-1, P-3C, UP-3C Orion, SH-60J/K & USH-60K Seahawk.

Following units US Navy, not relocated towards Iwakuni :

  • Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 51 'WARLORDS' with Sikorsky MH-60R 'SEAHAWK'
  • Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 'SABERHAWKS' with MH-60R 'SEAHAWK'
  • Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 'GOLDEN FALCON' with MH-60S 'SEAHAWK'

During our short visit we didn't see a lot of activity.

We noticed one Japanese C-130R, one P-1 and take-off concerning 2x SH-60.

One P-3 landed just before we left.

We saw a few visitors from the US : 1x F/A-18D and 1x C-40 in take-off.


After spending a few hours at NAF Atsugi we moved towards Iruma Air Base.

1 runway : 17/35 (2,000 m)

Iruma Air base is located in the city of Sayama, Saitama Prefecture.

Currently stationed is the Air Defence Command Headquarters Flight Group using :

  • U-4 (Gulfstream IV)
  • NAMC YS-11 (turboprop airliner manufactured by Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation), a lot of versions are produced.
  • Kawasaki T-4 (Jet Trainer)
  • Kawasaki C-1 (twin-engine short-range military transport aircraft)

The C-1 will be replaced with Kawasaki C-2 (long-range) but unfortunately we didn't see this new airplane flying. (I saw the C-2 later that same year at Riat!)

Current operators are 402nd Tactical Airlift Squadron and 403rd Tactical Airlift Squadron.

During this visit we noticed several take-offs and landings including C-1 / CH-47J / T-4 / U-4 / U-125 and YS-11.

We started first at the beginning of runway 35 but this was not the ideal place because take-offs took place from the other side.

After a short while we moved our cars to the other side at the beginning of runway 17 and after a short walk we ended at the opposite side of the ramp where we had a nice view on aircrafts taxiing and landing.

When you visit this base you definitely need a ladder with a minimum height of 90 cm.

1. NAF Atsugi :

2. Iruma Air base :