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
The 18th Wing delivers decisive air and cyberspace capabilities, any time, in support of U.S. interests, the defense of Japan, and peace and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific. Our wing accomplishes this mission through: innovative, ready, resilient Airmen; strong relationships with allies and partners; and a world-class strategic forward base.
A premier team of Airmen ensuring peace in the Indo-Pacific
18th Wing Lines of Effort
1. Deliver decisive air and cyberspace capabilities.
2. Develop innovative, ready and resilient Airmen.
3. Cultivate strong relationships with allies and partners.
4. Ensure a world-class strategic forward base.
Operating from the largest U.S. installation in the Asia-Pacific region, the 18th Wing defends U.S. and Japanese mutual interests by providing a forward power projection platform with integrated, deployable, combat power. The Wing operates a fleet of 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 F-15s, KC-135s, E-3s and 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 aircraft of the 18th Wing, associate units operate permanently assigned, forward-based or deployed aircraft from Kadena on a daily basis.
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