Kadena AB is located in Okinawa City, Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa is a semi-tropical island located between the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Given the extensive tourism, cultural and historical sites, pristine ocean and beaches, live entertainment, parks and restaurants, most people find that Kadena is the best tour of their career! If you need information, the base operator’s telephone number is 011-81-6117-34-1110 or DSN 315-634-1110.
Kadena AB’s history dates back to just before the U.S. invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, when a local construction firm completed a small airfield named Yara Hikojo near the island’s village of Kadena. The airfield, used by Japanese war planes, was one of the first targets of the U.S. 10th Army and was captured just hours after American troops stormed the island. What the Americans captured was nothing more than a 4,600 foot strip of badly-damaged coral runway. Army engineers quickly made repairs and by nightfall the same day, the runway could accept emergency landings. Eight days later, and after some six inches of coral were added, the airfield was declared operational and put into immediate service. By August 1945, an additional runway was built and the original runway lengthened and improved to accommodate bombers. Kadena Air Base was born.
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.
Operating from the largest U.S. installation in the Asia-Pacific region, the 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 81 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 54 F-15s, 15 KC-135s, 2 E-3s and 10 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 81 aircraft of the 18th Wing, associate units operate more than 20 permanently assigned, forward-based or deployed aircraft from Kadena on a daily basis.
Nearly 18,000 Americans and more than 4,000 Japanese employees and contractors make up Team Kadena. The base’s estimated economic impact upon Okinawa’s economy is more than $700 million annually.
Most individuals without personal transportation utilize taxis. Ensure if you use a taxi, that the words “Authorized on Base” are clearly painted on the rear of the vehicle. Taxis without this marking are not permitted on military installations. To call for a taxi, please dial DSN: 315-645-8888 or COMM: 098-970-8888 and follow the prompts. Car rental is also available in Bldg. 219 Monday thru Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Please call DSN 315-959-0007 for car rental information
Please be advised that there are no on-base buses or on-base bus routes. Once arrived on Kadena, newcomers are encouraged to coordinate with their sponsor to ensure that the sponsor can provide transportation until the newcomer secures a SOFA drivers license and vehicle.
Sponsors are assigned to inbound personnel by the gaining units. Once your new unit at Kadena receives official notification of your assignment, the unit INTRO monitor will assign a sponsor to you. Your sponsor will then make contact via telephone/e-mail and send a base newcomer’s information packet. With a copy of your PCS orders, your sponsor can obtain a Postal Service Center mailbox for you and notify you of your new forwarding address to ensure no interruption in mail service. Your sponsor can also assist lodging arrangements and provide transportation for you from the airport.
Prior to your arrival, ensure you have been provided contact numbers in the event of delays, changes in flight schedules, or you are not met at the airport. A courtesy phone with a DSN line is available at the Naha International Airport’s Information Booth upon request. If you require assistance with sponsorship issues, please see your local Airman and Family Readiness Center for assistance, or contact Relocation Assistance for Kadena, 011-81-611-734-3366 or DSN 315-634-3366.
The main lodging office is located at the Shogun Inn, Bldg. 332. Please ensure you or your sponsor make reservations for TLF as soon as you have an arrival date. To make reservations, please call DSN 315-632-1100/1101 or 1-888-AF-Lodge. Pets on-base lodging is limited, so contact your sponsor for assistance if traveling with pets. The 18th Force Support Squadron operates Karing Kennels on base. Your sponsor can make reservations in advance of your arrival.
Cost for on-base quarters is based on accommodation assignments, not rank. Non-availability statements/numbers are issued when on-base quarters/contract quarters are unavailable. Your sponsor may obtain a list of off-base hotels and rates from the Front Desk at the Shogun Inn. Families PCSing in are authorized a maximum of 30 days in the TLFs. Unaccompanied personnel E-5 and below will reside in the dormitories. Members should FAX or e-mail a copy of their orders to their sponsor, so a dorm room may be reserved. If dorm rooms are available, billeting will not be authorized.
Located in Bldg. 220, the Airman and Family Readiness Center offers a host of services to assist members and families. For assistance or information on services, please call 011-81-611-734-3366 or DSN 315-634-3366.
While waiting for your household goods to arrive, you can visit the Loan Locker in Building 220 to check out items such as microwaves, alarm clocks, dishes, cookware, high chairs, portable play pens, small appliances and much more. A copy of your PCS orders are required to check out items. Hours of operation are: Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. (excluding holidays and PACAF Family Days). Base and local information is also available.
Military Personnel requires members to check in with their Commander’s Support Staff within 24 hours of arrival. Upon arrival, all new members (AB through LT COL) must in-process with MPS on the 1ST duty day after arrival. Please contact MPS FLT CC to schedule Colonels for inprocessing (DSN: 315-634-9407). MPS in-processing is held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Bldg 721B in 2nd Floor Training Room. Members need to bring the following items:
Out-processing package from previous base
1 copy of PCS orders and amendments (if applicable)
Every Wednesday (excluding holidays), from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the base hosts the Newcomer’s Orientation program at the Schilling Community Center, Bldg. 455. Attendance is mandatory. Spouses are highly encouraged to attend.
First-term airmen will attend a mandatory orientation at the First Term Airmen Center (FTAC), Bldg. 3445. First-term airmen will be scheduled for their FTAC class at the above mentioned MPS in-processing.
Critical Installation Information
Ensure you have all necessary documentation (e.g. PCS orders, area clearance, passports, and shot records). It is also recommended that you have enough Yen for phone calls, food, or local transportation if needed (e.g. taxis with on-base privileges). Typically, 50,000 yen ($500) is sufficient for the first several weeks on island.
Kadena no longer offers loaner furniture to PCSing personnel since the personal household goods weight restrictions have been removed. AAFES operates a furniture store on Camp Foster; however, the selection is very limited. Furniture off base is very expensive. Many items are not manufactured in US sizes. Lamps are especially expensive and hard to find.
All unaccompanied personnel PCSing to Kadena are weight restricted and are not authorized a household goods shipment (HHG).
The following are prohibited and should not be shipped or imported: firearms, illegal drugs, Vicks nasal inhalers, cough syrups containing codeine, pornographic materials, (e.g. videos, movies, books, etc.), and knives (other than kitchen knives) with blades over 2 1/2 inches.
Passports and Visas
Ensure member and/or dependents have the required passports and/or visa prior to final out-processing. Member and/or dependents are not allowed to final out-process without the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents. Members electing the accompanied tour will not be permitted to out-process without having the required passports/visas in hand for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.
These actions are necessary to prevent unforeseen hardships to the military members and their families. Therefore, as a last reiteration, it is essential, members do not out-process without having the appropriate passports/visas for themselves (if applicable) and/or dependents.
For more information on HHG and weight restrictions, refer to Personnel Weight Restrictions and Housing Policies.
Official Kadena inquiries:
e-mail Public Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org