Carrier Air Wing 5 Relocating to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Following Fall Patrol

August 18, 2017 2:50 PM
VFA-195 F/A-18E Super Hornet in front of Mt. Fuji. US Navy Photo

The first jet squadrons from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, nicknamed “the nation’s 911 air wing” will relocate to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni later this fall, the Navy announced on Friday.

Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 115 and 195, along with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 scheduled to relocate to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni following the conclusion of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group’s fall patrol.

Both VFA-115 and VFA-195 fly the F/A-18E Super Hornet, while VAQ-141 flies the EA-18G Growler, an airframe based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet equipped for electronic countermeasure missions, according to the Navy.

These are the first jet squadrons from CVW-5 relocating to Iwakuni, according to a Navy statement. Earlier this year, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, forward deployed to Iwakuni. CVW-5 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier strike group.

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) departs Brisbane, Australia, after a scheduled port visit on July 28, 2017. US Navy Photo

Relocating all fixed-wing aircraft from CVW-5 to Iwakuni is part of Defense Policy Review Initiative, as directed in the May 1, 2006 Security Consultative Committee Document.

The fixed-wing aircraft had been stationed at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, which will remain home to all Carrier Air Wing-5 rotary-wing aircraft. Atsugi will remain a vital base for the U.S.-Japan alliance, said a Navy statement. CVW-5 fixed-wing aircraft will occasionally use Atsugi as a divert field, and for training, refueling, or maintenance.

Iwakuni is the only Marine Corps base on Honshu, the main island of Japan. Iwakuni is home to approximately half of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered on Okinawa, elements of the 3rd Marine Logistics Group, and Fleet Air Wing 31 of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, according to the command website. Currently, the base is home to about 15,000 U.S. military and Japanese defense force employees.


Ben Werner

Ben Werner

Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff writer covering education and publicly traded companies for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from New York University.

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