HYAKURI: TEMPLE OF THE PHANTOM

On November 27 the Japan Air Self- Defense Force (JASDF) celebrated the 50th anniversary of Hyakuri Air Base, which is now home to the country’s final front-line Phantoms.

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The wonderful RF-4Es of 501 Hikotai have started wearing this stunning two-tone blue camouflage.

LOCATED 80KM (50 miles) north of the Japanese capital, since 2016 Hyakuri AB has hosted the last three JASDF squadrons (Hikotai) still equipped with the F-4 Phantom II. It also serves as the main air defense base for the Tokyo metropolitan area.

In 1938 the Imperial Japanese Navy established an air corps at Hyakuri. During the defense of Japan in WW2, the base provided training for kamikaze aircrew that took part in the Battle of Okinawa. After the defeat of Japan, the facilities were dismantled. It was not until 1966 that a runway was reconstructed for the JASDF and the facility was officially named Hyakuri AB. The 7 Kokudan (7th Air Wing), under the command of the Central Air Defense Force, was established at the base in 1967 and remains active to this day.

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