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Kadena Air Base

In 1991,  Kadena Air Base combined three wings -- the 376th Strategic Wing, 18th Combat Support Wing and the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing -- into one, incorporating the E-3 Sentry, KC-135 Stratotanker and F-15 Eagles all under one wing -- the 18th Wing. Since then, the 33rd Rescue Squadron and its HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters have also realigned under the 18th. Additional unit restructuring has followed, making Kadena one of the most complex and certainly the largest operational combat wing overseas in terms of the number of aircraft assigned. 18th Wing History

kadena air base Key Leadership

Brig. Gen. 
Joel L. Carey
Vice Commander
Col. George N. Vogel
Command CMSgt
CMSgt Jessica L. Bender


Team Kadena Group Commanders:

Col. Scott Rowe - 18th Operations Group

Col. Thang T. Doan - 18th Mission Support Group

Col. William F. Ray  - 18th Maintenance Group

Col. Jay W. Veeder - 18th Medical Group

Col. Robert S. Grainger - 18th Civil Engineer Group

Col. Michael Thomas - 353rd Special Operations Group

Mission, Vision, and Priorities

The 18th Wing provides premier counter air, air refueling, command and control, and combat search and rescue, a strategic forward base, and strengthens regional alliances through joint, bilateral, and multilateral engagement and ambassadorship.

A team of professionals committed to peace in the pacific.

Readiness: Today, tonight, tomorrow… deter, defend, protect

Resilience: Airmen, families, airpower… build, support, sustain

Respect: Fellow Airmen, joint partners, host nation… model, honor, intervene

Leadership: Bold, courageous, exemplary… inspire, innovate, develop

Who We Are

Operating from the largest U.S. installation in the Asia-Pacific region, the 18th Wing defends U.S. and Japanese mutual interests by providing aforward power projection platform with integrated, deployable, combat power. The Wing operates a fleet of 81 combat-ready aircraft to perform air superiority, aerial refueling, airborne warning and control, and combat search and rescue functions. In addition, a force of 8,000 trained Airmen is postured to support Air Force commitments in the Pacific region as well as U.S. military commitments around the world.

The 18th Wing is responsible for 54 F-15s, 15 KC-135s, 2 E-3s and 10 HH-60s valued at more than $4 billion, as well as other equipment and capital assets valued at nearly $2 billion. The base also provides infrastructure support to Army, Navy and Marine Corps forces assigned to or transiting Kadena. 

Team Kadena includes associate units from five other Air Force major commands, the U.S. Navy, and numerous other Department of Defense agencies and direct reporting units. In addition to the 81 aircraft of the 18th Wing, associate units operate more than 20 permanently assigned, forward-based or deployed aircraft from Kadena on a daily basis.

Kadena Aircraft Facts