Naval Air Facility Atsugi

Naval Air Facility Atsugi

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Naval Air Facility Atsugi

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Description:
is a naval air base located in the cities of Yamato and Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is the largest United States Navy air base in the Pacific Ocean and houses the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 5, which deploys with the aircraft carrier . Service members stationed at Atsugi also work in conjunction with the Kamiseya Naval Radio Receiving Facility.

CVW-5 shares the base with the Fleet Air Wing 4, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. NAF Atsugi is also home to Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) 51 (HSL-51), which provides detachments of SH-60B LAMPS Mk III helicopters to forward deployed U.S. Navy guided missile cruisers, guided missile destroyers and frigates homeported at nearby Naval Base Yokosuka.

Despite its name, the base is east northeast from the city of Atsugi, and is not adjacent to the city.

History

The Imperial Japanese Navy constructed the base in 1938 to house the Japanese 302 Naval Aviation Corps, one of Japan's most formidable fighter squadrons during World War II. Aircraft based at Atsugi shot down more than 300 American bombers during the firebombings of 1945. After Japan's surrender, many of Atsugi's pilots refused to follow Hirohito's order to lay down their arms, and took to the skies to drop leaflets on Tokyo and Yokohama urging locals to resist the Americans. Eventually, these pilots gave up and left Atsugi.

General Douglas MacArthur arrived at Atsugi on 30 August to accept Japan's surrender. Shortly...
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