Air Rescue Wing
JASDF CH-47J(LR)(37-4489) Air Rescue Wing insignia at Kasuga Air Base November 25, 2017.jpg
Insignia of theAir Rescue Wing
ActiveJuly 15, 1961
BranchJapan Air Self-Defense Force
Garrison/HQIruma Air Base
Motto(s)That others may live
Aircraft flown
CH-47J, UH-60J, U-125A

The Air Rescue Wing (航空救難団, koukuukyuunandan) is a wing of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Responsible for airborne search and rescue, it is headquartered at Iruma Air Base in Saitama Prefecture and controls squadrons and detachments across Japan.[1] The helicopter airlift squadrons were previously under the authority of Air Support Command.[2] It is equipped with CH-47J, UH-60J and U-125A aircraft.[3]


UH-60J with refueling probe fitted (2016)
UH-60J with refueling probe fitted (2016)

From 2009 the Air Rescue Wing began training in air-to-air refueling with US forces,[4] and from 2010 two of the JASDF's 401st Tactical Airlift Squadron C-130H aircraft were given air-to-air refueling equipment, allowing them to refuel UH-60J helicopters. In June 2017 UH-60JA aircraft of the wing practiced night air-to-air refueling with US forces.[5]

On May 28, 2013 the Air Rescue Wing Naha Detachment rescued the pilot of an F-15C of the US Air Force's 44th Fighter Squadron that had crashed into the ocean off Okinawa.[6][7][8]

On October 17, 2017 a JASDF UH-60J of the Hamamatsu Detachment of the Air Rescue Wing crashed into the sea off Shizuoka Prefecture while conducting night rescue drills. Wreckage was found but the four crew members were not located.[9][10]

On June 11, 2018 the Naha Detachment rescued the pilot of another US F-15C of the 44th Fighter Squadron that had ejected over the sea off Okinawa.[11][12]


Iruma Helicopter Airlift Squadron CH-47J (2015)
Air Rescue Wing UH-60Js in flight
Air Rescue Wing UH-60Js in flight

Aircraft operated

Air Rescue Wing U-125A
Air Rescue Wing U-125A


  1. ^ "Air Rescue Wing History". Retrieved October 28, 2017. (in Japanese)
  2. ^ Thompson, Paul JASDF - Order of Battle July 1, 2017 J-HangarSpace Retrieved October 24, 2017
  3. ^ "Air Rescue Wing". Retrieved October 24, 2017. (in Japanese)
  4. ^ Perez, Angelique (April 2, 2009). "33RQS helicopter pilots give air refueling training to JASDF". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "US Air Force Joins Japan Air Self-Defense Force in Nighttime Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling Exercise". June 29, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  6. ^ LaGrone, Sam (May 28, 2018). "Okinawa F-15 Crashes, Pilot Safe". Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  7. ^ Roth, Betty (May 28, 2013). "US Air Force Pilot Survives F-15 Crash Off Okinaw". Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Officials release report on F-15 accident near Kadena AB". January 22, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Takahashi, Kosuke (October 18, 2017). "Four JASDF personnel missing following UH-60J helo crash off coast of Shizuoka Prefecture". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  10. ^ "Helmets found in waters off Shizuoka Prefecture where ASDF chopper with four aboard apparently crashed". Japan Times. October 18, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Tan, Michelle (June 11, 2018). "Kadena Air Base F-15 crashes off Okinawa". Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  12. ^ Rogoway, Tyler (June 10, 2018). "A USAF F-15C Eagle Crashed Off Okinawa, Pilot Rescued Alive After Ejection". The Drive. Retrieved June 11, 2018.