The U.S. Navy Strike fighter squadron (VFA) 27 and VFA 102, from Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) will arrive at MCAS Iwakuni (MCASI) this week, completing their relocation from Naval Air Facility Atsugi (NAFA) to MCASI.
While the transfer of CVW-5’s fixed wing aircraft to MCASI will be complete this week, both the U.S. and Government of Japan continue to work together on other aspects of the relocation, to include transfer of additional CVW-5 personnel and completion of new facilities at MCASI to support the relocation. Personnel relocation is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, while work on operational, community and community support facilities will continue.
The transfer of CVW-5 is consistent with all Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) requirements and it supports the Navy’s strategic vision for the Indo-Pacific in which its most advanced units are forward deployed to support the America’s commitment to the defense of Japan and the security and stability of the region.
“The arrival of the strike fighter squadrons 27 and 102 to Iwakuni completes Carrier Air Wing Five’s phased relocation of our aircraft,” said Capt. Forrest Young, commander, Carrier Air Wing Five. “After more than a decade of coordination and planning between the U.S. and Japanese governments, it is rewarding to complete the relocation of our fixed wing aircraft.”
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, which flies the E-2D, was the first carrier air wing squadron to transition to Iwakuni arriving in February 2017. VFA 115 and 195, along with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 relocated to MCASI by December 2017.
At the completion of the Defense Program Review Initiative (DPRI) process, MCASI will have undergone a 77 percent physical transformation which includes the Iwakuni Runway Relocation project, many new services-related facilities, administrative buildings, and a gas station. These improvements were led by the DPRI program team in close coordination with the Government of Japan’s regional defense bureau, Chugoku-Shikoku Defense Bureau, in order to enable U.S. forces to fulfill their obligations under the Treaty of Mutual Security and Cooperation.
Commander Navy Region Japan