KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --
F-22A Raptors assigned to the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, started to arrive here from Nov. 4, until Nov. 8, 2022, in preparation of the phased withdrawal of Kadena’s fleet of F-15C/D Eagles.
These aircraft will work in conjunction with local Kadena-based assets to maintain steady-state fighter capabilities and enhance U.S. operational readiness to defend Japan while ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As part of its modernization plan, the United States Air Force is retiring the aging fleet of F-15 C/D Eagle aircraft that has been in service for more than 30 years. The Department of Defense will continue to maintain a steady-state presence at Kadena by temporarily deploying newer and more advanced aircraft to backfill the F-15s as they retrograde to the United States.
For decades, Kadena Air Base has served as the keystone of the Pacific. The base's strategic position makes it a vital staging location for forces to deter regional adversaries and project U.S. airpower throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Modernizing our capabilities in the Indo-Pacific theater remains a top priority. The transition to more capable aircraft at Kadena exemplifies DOD’s continued commitment to enhancing our posture while building on the strong foundation of our Alliance with Japan.