Air Defense and Aggressor Eagles

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Air Base Komatsu is situated on the Northern coast of Japan’s largest island, Honshu, and offers large training spaces in ‘Airspace G’, north of the base over the Sea of Japan. Komatsu is the only JASDF fighter base on this coast. The F-15J Eagles and T-4s of the JASDF share the runway with civil aviation from Komatsu Airport. The F-15s are used for air defense and ‘aggressors’ in training fights, the T-4s perform liaison duties.

The airport was built in 1944. During World War II it was used by the Imperial Japanese Navy. At the end of the war in 1945, the U.S. Armed Forces took over the base and used it mainly as a radar facility until 1958 when it was handed over to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Over the years a number of units and aircraft types were stationed at Komatsu. Today there are three F-15J/T-4 squadrons based at Komatsu.

303rd Tactical Fighter Squadron
The ‘Fighting Dragons’ were intended to replace the F-86F Sabre equipped 4th Squadron, which was disbanded at Komatsu in June, 1975. As a result of discussions with the local authorities and residents, it was almost 1,5 years later that the 303rd with its F-4EJ Phantoms was finally operational. QRA operations formed an essential part of the unit’s operations. On December 1, 1987 the unit was the first to complete conversion to the F-15J.

306th Tactical Fighter Squadron
On June 30, 1981, the 6th and final F-4EJ squadron was formed as the 306th Tactical Fighter Squadron ‘The Golden Eagles’ at Hyakuri Air Base. The 306th was formed from the disbanded 205th Squadron, which flew the F-104J Starfighter. In 1997, the unit converted from the F-4 and became the 8th and final of the F-15J squadrons existing at that time, and moved to Komatsu.

The Tactical Fighter Training Group
This squadron is trained to act as an opposing force in military wargames. Aggressor squadrons use enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures to give a realistic simulation of air combat. The Tactical Fighter Training Group was established in 1981 and used Mitsubishi T-2 aircraft as aggressors. In 1990 it switched to the F-15J/DJ. The squadron moved-in from from Nyutabaru Air Base on 10 June 2016.