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18th Wing [18th WG]
(Base Code: ZZ)

The 18th Wing is Kadena's host unit. It is the oldest wing on continuous active duty and is the only active wing whose fighters have never served in the continental United States. A variety of units form one of the world's largest and most complex airbases. The wing is responsible for approximately 20,000 Americans stationed at Kadena AB. Over 7,000 airmen, 11,000 family members and 1,300 civilians make up the base's Air Force community. An additional 3,000 Japanese civilians and 10,000 contract employees round out the team.

The 18th Wing is subordinate to Fifth Air Force at Yokota AB, Japan, and Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. The wing is also associated with all four military services, several DOD agencies, the State Department and five other U.S. Air Force major commands.

The 18th Wing's mission is to defend U.S. and Japanese' mutual interests by providing a responsive staging and operational airbase with integrated, deployable, forward-based airpower. The focus of the unit's operations is directed to accomplishing this mission. Strategy used to employ this mission centers around a composite force of combat-ready fighter, air refueling, airborne warning and control and rescue aircraft.

The wing maintains Kadena Air Base and a combat-ready composite force of fighters, refuelers, rescue helicopters, airborne and ground based radar systems along with the infrastructure necessary to mobilize, deploy, and employ forces in support of U.S. national interests and in concert with Western Pacific allies.

The 18th Wing is responsible for resources including F-15, KC-135, E-3 AWACS and HH-60 aircraft valued at over $4 billion, as well as other equipment and capital assets valued at about $2 billion. The base also provides infrastructure support to U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps forces assigned to or transiting Kadena.

The 18th Wing is composed of five groups: operations, logistics, support, civil engineer and medical.

As of late 1999, the 18th Wing was host to the following aircraft:

  • F-15: 48
  • MC-130: 9
  • KC-135: 15
  • RC-135: 1-2
  • E-3 AWACS: 2
  • P-3: 3-10
  • HH-60: 9
  • MC-130H/P: 10
  • C-130: 1
  • C-12: 2



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