Misawa Air Base is located approximately 400 miles north of Tokyo, adjacent to Misawa City in Aomori Prefecture, (pop. approx. 42,000) in Tohoku. There are about 5,200 U.S. military personnel assigned to Misawa, along with 300 U.S. civilian employees and 900 local national employees. Misawa Air Base is unique in that it’s the only combined, joint service installation in the western Pacific. Units representing all four U.S. services are assigned here as well as the Japan Air Self Defense Force, or JASDF.
For those concerned about traveling to Misawa after the March earthquake: Misawa is completely safe. We are located 232 miles north of the Fukushima nuclear plant, and benefit from a weather pattern that carries any potential radioactive release away from, rather than toward our installation. At no time has Misawa been at risk of radioactive exposure, nor do we expect to be. All of our military units are conducting normal operations, all of our dependents’ schools are in session, and all of our Morale Welfare and Recreation activities are in full swing (just in time for the great spring weather!) Please see messages from 35 Fighter Wing Leadership below. There is no reason to delay your business, PCS or leisure travel to Misawa.
Originally activated at Johnson Air Base, Japan on August 10, 1948 the wing carries the bestowed honors of the Army Air Force’s 35th Fighter Group, established on December 22, 1939.
Through various reorganizations, redesignations, inactivations and reactivations, many installations throughout the globe became home to the 35th Fighter Wing and its changing mission. Originally the 35th flew air defense over Japan but, in 1950, the wing deployed a tactical group and two squadrons to support ground forces during the Korean War.
From 1971 to 1992, the 35th called George Air Force Base, CA, home. During Operation DESERT STORM, the 35th operated out of Bahrain and played a key role in the war’s successful air campaign, flying 3,072 combat missions totaling more than 10,000 hours. From May 1993 to September 1995, the 35th operated out of Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland.
After a 37-year absence, the 35 FW returned to its roots October 1, 1994, when it replaced and assumed the mission of the 432nd Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base. Since achieving initial operating capability with its F-16CJ aircraft in 1996, the wing’s fighter squadrons deployed nine times to Southwest Asia for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and three times for Operation NORTHERN WATCH. In March 2003, the 14 FS supported Operation IRAQI FREEDOM while deployed to SWA, flying 238 combat sorties and 1,336 hours including missions over Baghdad during “shock and awe,” the opening night of the war.
Throughout the 35th Fighter Group’s and 35 FW’s sixty-six year history, it has flown 25 different aircraft. Its major unit awards and citations include a Distinguished Unit Citation, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, six Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat “V” device, eight Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, and three Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses with Palm.
The 35th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan ― the northernmost U.S. air base in Japan. The only combined, joint service installation in the Western Pacific, Misawa Air Base is located on the shores of Lake Ogawara in Misawa City in the Aomori Prefecture.
The wing’s mission is to “protect U.S. interests in the Pacific and assist in the defense of Japan with sustained forward presence, worldwide deployable forces, and focused mission support.”
The 35 FW employs two squadrons of the Block 50 model F-16CJ Fighting Falcon. The wing conducts daily F-16 flight training to maintain its combat readiness edge. Its pilots fly air-to-air weapons delivery exercises over water and sharpen their air-to-ground skills using the Draughon Range located 12 miles north of Misawa.
In addition to its flight training schedule, the wing holds quarterly local operational readiness exercises, which allow its people to concentrate training on war fighting skills essential for readiness. The 35 FW also maintains its readiness by participating in Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercises, including RED FLAG-Alaska, COPE TAUFAN in Malaysia, and COMMANDO SLING in Singapore. The wing also participates in other joint and bilateral exercises, such as NORTHERN EDGE in Alaska and KEEN SWORD in Japan.
Additionally, the wing has continually supported the War on Terror, including two deployments of F-16s and personnel in support of ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM in 2007.
Misawa City is approximately 44,000. The Japanese people are some of the most polite, friendly and courteous you will ever meet. Just remember their culture and customs are different from ours and we are in their country. Japan is a very safe country with very low rates of violent crime. The water here is safe to drink. Fresh fruits and vegetables (in season) and seafood are cheaper off base and of better quality. Just wash all fruits and vegetables first.
The DODDS Japan District Student Transportation Office provides school bus transportation for Misawa AB. The DoDDS Misawa Student Transportation Office (STO) registers eligible students and issues bus passes. While in Billeting/Navy Quarters, Sollars and Edgren students walk to school and Cummings students board at the Misawa Inn bus stop. Families residing outside of the off-base bus commuting zone transport their children to the nearest bus stop or to school. Additional information is available on each school’s website and by calling DSN 226-9119.
You should have an assigned a sponsor from your unit. Your sponsor should be in touch with you via telephone or mail shortly after you receive your orders. If you do not hear from your sponsor and you need assistance in establishing contact, go through your local Airman and Family Readiness Center for assistance or the Misawa Airman and Family Readiness Center to request assistance, DSN 315-226-4735, 011-81-0176-77-4735. Be sure to indicate your gaining unit and your current phone number, e-mail, and mailing address in the request. Your sponsor will be your primary contact and provide you answers to your questions and concerns. Your sponsor can provide you a welcome package with base information. You can also get an electronic version on CD, via e-mail, or from the Misawa Air Base homepage.
Your sponsor should also meet you upon your arrival at the Misawa Airport, as long as you have the detailed itinerary of your travel plans. You should confirm arrival plans before departing and inform your sponsor about any changes. In situations where your sponsor is not there to meet you use the pay phone and contact the base Command Post at 0176-77-9899 or DSN 315-226-9899.
Send a copy of your orders to your sponsor and request a mail box prior to your arrival. If you don’t have a sponsor, you can fax a copy of your orders to the Post Office Customer Service at DSN 315-226-2541 or 011-81-176-77-2541 to request a P.O. Box number.
All branches of service need to make their temporary quarter accommodations through the Air Force Lodging Misawa Inn. On-base temporary living facilities (TLF) are limited to accompanied personnel and unaccompanied personnel of E-5 and above. Single E-4 and below are not eligible for TLF and must go to Consolidated Dorm Management Office in Bldg 671 for a dorm room assignment. Personnel or their sponsors should make reservations as soon as they are clear on their arrival dates. You can make reservations calling the Misawa Inn at 011-81-176-66-0282 or DSN 315-222-0282. You must show a copy of your orders at check-in. Pets are not allowed in TLF. There are pet kennels available on base (DSN 315-226-2228) and off base (011-81-3117-52-3423).
All newcomers are required to attend Right Start, which is a four-day INTRO program that runs on Tuesday through Friday. The Tuesday Right Start session is only for active duties and Wednesday is open to spouses and family members. An Information Fair for base services and support programs are offered in conjunction with the Wednesday Right Start program. The base Driver’s Safety course is also part of the Wednesday session. Thursday and Friday sessions provide tours of Misawa City and Hachinohe City respectively. The Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) offers multiple relocation services to help you become acquainted with Japan, including classes on Japanese language, crafts, cooking, and culture. You can sign up for any A&FRC services by calling at DSN 315-226-4735 or 011-81-176-77-4735. The A&FRC Loan Closet is open to all personnel assigned to Misawa and provides loaner items for use while you await your household goods. The Loan Closet inventory includes items such as dishes, microwaves, strollers, coffee makers, toasters, vacuums, irons, etc.
Critical Installation Information
The Japanese Department of Food Safety has been actively investigating the extent of potential radiation contamination in all affected prefectures and is committed to protecting the public from exposure. Our military health inspectors do not inspect food facilities off-base, but we work closely with Japanese Government officials and are monitoring events as they develop.
The Aomori Prefecture has been screening 51 locally produced items for radiation, and all tests have been negative. The following products from Aomori Prefecture present no health risk:
Grain: Rice Straw, Brown Rice, Paddy Rice, Wheat, Buckwheat, Irish Potato, Chinese Yam, Sweet Corn
Beans: Soybean, Green Soybean
Produce: Japanese Radish, Small Radish, Carrot, Burdock, Cabbage, Spinach, Broccoli, Lettuce, Green Onion, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Apple, Garlic, Melon, Watermelon, Strawberry, Pear, Peach, Grapes, Cranberry, Plum, Mushroom, Cooking Chrysanthemum
Dairy Products: Milk, Eggs
Sea Food: Mackerel, Black Mackerel, Shark, Flatfish, Yellowtail, Tuna, Yellow Fin Tuna, Sagittated Calamari, Sea Urchin, Ear Shell, Ark Shell, Scallop, Sea Tangle
No food products – including beef – have been exported from Fukushima. All beef sold and all beef prepared for consumption on base is shipped to Misawa from the United States.
Any food alerts from US Army Veterinary Command (USA VETCOM) are communicated immediately to all bases once a threat is detected. According to Public Health, there have been no warnings regarding potentially contaminated beef in Aomori Prefecture.
Currently, neither the Government of Japan nor the US Government have issued any related cautions or bans.
Frequently Called Numbers on Base
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
APO, AP 96319-5009
DSN: (315) 226-3075
FAX: (315) 226-9342
Commercial Fax: 011-81-176-77-9342
DSN: (315) 226-1110
Air Force Aid Society 226-9316
American Red Cross 226-3016
Auto skills Center 226-4654
Bowling Center 616-3998
Commissary Manager 226-3823
Community Center 226-4128
Education Center 226-4201
Enlisted Club 616-1889
Facility Maintenance 226-3693
Family Day Care 226-2273
Family Services 226-3665
Family support center 226-4735
Finance/ Military Pay 226-9242
Hospital Appointments 226-6111
Housing Maintenance 226-4663
Housing Manager 226-2394
Housing Office 226-3200
Law Enforcement Desk 226-3600
Main Exchange 616-6049
Military Clothing Sales 616-8709
Officers’ Club 226-2016
Pass and Registration 226-3995
Teen Center 226-2170
35th Force Support Squadron 226-3008
Youth Center 226-3220
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.