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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aviation

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Title: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aviation  
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Subject: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, List of air forces
Collection: Aviation in Japan, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Naval Aviation Services
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Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aviation

Three JMSDF P-3C Orions flying in formation during 2011

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has a large aviation component. As of 2012, it was equipped with over 200 fixed-wing aircraft and 150 helicopters. These aircraft operate from bases throughout Japan, as well as from the JMSDF's ships.[1]

History

The JMSDF's first aircraft were 16 Lockheed P2V Neptune maritime patrol aircraft, which were provided to the force by the United States Navy in 1956. The US Navy also provided Japan with 60 Grumman S-2 Trackers from 1957.[2] During the 1980s, the JMSDFs force of 82 Neptunes (most of which were the locally built Kawasaki P-2J variant) was replaced by about 100 Lockheed P-3 Orions.[3] The JMSDF's first combat helicopters were the Mitsubishi HSS-2 (the Japanese variant of the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King).[4] These helicopters were replaced by SH-60Js during the 1990s.[5]

The JMSDF is the only force to operate minesweeping helicopters other than the US Navy. The first helicopters used for this purpose were eight V-107As.[6] These helicopters were replaced by eleven MH-53Es during the 1990s. Seven MCH-101 helicopters have been ordered to replace the MH-53Es, of which five had been delivered by mid-2012.[7]

Current organization

The organization of the JMSDF's aviation units is based on that of the US Navy. The main organizational units are Koku Shudan (air groups), Kokugun (air wings), Kōkūtai (air squadrons) and Hikōtai (flights).[1]

As at mid-2012, the structure of the JMSDF's aviation units was as follows:[8]

Fleet Air Force(Atsugi Air Base)

  • Fleet Air Wing 1 (Kanoya Air Field)
    • Air Patrol Squadron 1 (P-3C Orion)
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 1
    • Air Station Kanoya
  • Fleet Air Wing 2 (JMSDF Hachinohe Air Base)
    • Air Patrol Squadron 2 (P-3C Orion)
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 2
    • Air Station Hachinohe
  • Fleet Air Wing 4 (Atsugi Air Base)
    • Air Patrol Squadron 4 (P-3C Orion)
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 4
    • Air Station Atsugi
    • Air Station Iwoto
  • Fleet Air Wing 5 (Naha Air Base)
    • Air Patrol Squadron 5 (P-3C Orion)
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 5
    • Air Station Naha
  • Fleet Air Wing 21 (JMSDF Tateyama Air Base)
    • Air ASW Helicopter Squadron 21 (JMSDF Tateyama Air Base SH-60J/K)
    • Air ASW Helicopter Squadron 23 (JMSDF Maizuru Helipoat SH-60J/K)
    • Air ASW Helicopter Squadron 25 (Ōminato Air Field SH-60J/K)
    • Helicopter Rescue Squadron 73(Tateyama Air Base UH-60J)
      • Helicopter Rescue Detachment Ominato
      • Helicopter Rescue Detachment Iwoto
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 21
    • Air Station Tateyama
  • Fleet Air Wing 22 (Omura Air Base)
    • Air ASW Helicopter Squadron 22 (Omura Air Base SH-60J/K)
    • Air ASW Helicopter Squadron 24 (Komatsushima Air Base SH-60J/K)
    • Air Rescue Helicopter Squadron 72 (Omura Air Base UH-60J)
      • Helicopter Rescue Detachment Kanoya
      • Helicopter Rescue Detachment Tokushima
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 22
    • Air Station Omura
  • Fleet Air Force 31 Iwakuni Air Base
    • Air Resucue Squadron 71 (Atsugi Air Base US-1A, US-2)
    • Air Reconnaissance Squadron 81(Iwakuni Air Base EP-3, OP-3C)
    • Air Training Support Squadron 91(Iwakuni Air Base UP-3D, U-36A)
    • Maintenance and Supply Squadron 31
    • Drone Maintenance Squadron
    • Air Station Iwakuni
  • Air Development Squadron 51(Atsugi Air Base)
  • Air Transport Squadron 61(Atsugi Air Base YS-11, LC-90)
  • MineCoutermeasuresHelicopter Squadron 111(Iwakuni Air Base MH-53E, MCH-101)
  • Air Repair Squadron 1(Kanoya Air Base)
  • Air Repair Squadron 2(Hachinohe Air Base)
  • Air Control Service Group(Atsug Air Base)
  • Mobile Construction Group(Hachinohe Air Base)


Units attached to destroyer fleets

Air Training Command

  • Shimofusa Air Training Group (Shimofusa Air Base)
    • 203 Air Training Squadron (P-3C)
    • 205 Air Training Squadron (no aircraft)
  • Tokushima Air Training Group (Tokushima Airport)
    • 202 Air Training Squadron (Beechcraft TC-90 King Air, Beechcraft UC-90 King Air)
  • Ozuki Air Training Group (Ozuki Air Field)

References

Citations
  1. ^ a b Gunner (2012), p. 66
  2. ^ Koda (2012), p. 5
  3. ^ Koda (2012), p. 10
  4. ^ Koda (2012), p. 13
  5. ^ Koda (2012), p. 14
  6. ^ Koda (2012), p. 11
  7. ^ Gunner (2012), p. 70
  8. ^ Gunner (2012), p. 69
Works consulted
  • Gunner, Jerry (July 2012). "Western Pacific Guardians". Air Forces Monthly (292): pp. 66–71. 
  • Koda, Yoji (2012). Perspectives on the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. Canberra: Sea Power Centre - Australia.  
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