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Yokota Air Base

Yokota Air Base is located on the island of Honshu, Japan, on the Kanto Plain 28 miles northwest of Tokyo at the foothills of the Okutama Mountains. The base lies within the political boundaries of six municipalities. These are Akishima, Fussa, Hamura, Mizuho, Musashi-Murayama, and Tachikawa.

Yokota is the primary airlift resource for Pacific Forces, with an area of responsibility covering more than 100 million square miles. Aircraft assigned here include C-130 Hercules, C-9 Nightingales, UH-1N Huey helicopters and C-21 Learjets. It is one of three operational U.S Force bases in Japan. The base supports Department of Defense agencies throughout the Pacific, with regularly scheduled missions within Japan, and to Korea, Micronesia, Guam and Thailand. To keep their combat edge, airlift crews and support organizations regularly participate in PACAF exercises in Alaska, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

Yokota Air Base is located on the northern Kanto Plain at the foothills of the Okutama Mountains, about 28 miles west of Tokyo. The base is one of three operational US Air Force bases in Japan and one of two located on Japan's largest island - Honshu. The base population is approximately 14,000. Yokota is the closest military installation to the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Yokota was opened in March 1940 by the Japanese Imperial Army as Tama Army Airfield. The name of the airfield was derived from Tama Prefecture--or county in which it was located. By the end of 1942, the airfield was operating at its peak as the "Wright Field" of Japan, where newly designed aircraft were first tested. When US Forces took control of the base in 1945, they found 280 of the most modern Japanese aircraft still in excellent running condition.

The Japanese had removed the tops of hangars to resemble bomb-damaged facilities, so US fighters thought they were already bombed areas. For the most part, the Yokota area suffered little damage during World War II from American bombers. Officially dedicated as an American base by American occupation forces on August 15, 1946, the base's name was changed to Yokota, after a small village located on the northeast corner of the base.

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