By Rod Powers
Misawa Air Base is approximately 400 miles north of Tokyo, on the northeastern part of the main island of Honshu. Misawa Air Base is located in Misawa city on the shores of Lake Ogawara in the Aomori Prefecture. Misawa Air Base has experienced a large amount of growth over the past few years. It has modern facilities, excellent housing, and is surrounded by the natural mountainous beauty of rural northern Japan. Home to all the various service groups it is a model example of the new defense concept of "jointness." Additionally, it coexists with a contingent of the Japanese Air Defense Force.
The world's first non-stop Trans-Pacific flight was launched from the beach near Misawa on 4 October 1931. Misawa's modern military history goes back to the construction of an airstrip at Misawa in 1938 by the Imperial Japanese Army. In 1942, the Japanese Naval Air Force controlled the base and used it for long-range bombers. During World War II, Misawa was primarily a Kamikaze training base. In December 1946, the 49th Fighter Group became the first U.S. air unit stationed at Misawa. Since 1945, 16 units have served as the host unit for Misawa Air Base. The 35th Fighter Wing was originally activated as Johnson Air Base, Japan on August 18, 1948, though it carries the bestowed honors of the 35th Fighter Group which traces its origin back to December 22, 1939.
The Wing's mission is to protect U.S. interests in the Pacific by providing forward presence, deployable forces, and quality mission support. 35th Fighter Wing is the host unit and provides support for the entire Misawa Air Base community, including the Naval Air Facility, and the Misawa Cryptologic Operations Center, comprised of the 301st Intelligence Squadron, Naval Security Group Activity, 750th Military Intelligence Company, and Company E Marine Support Battalion.
Official website of Misawa Air Base