The 35th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Misawa Air Base, Japan -- the northernmost U.S. air base in Japan. The only combined, joint service installation in the Western Pacific, Misawa Air Base is located on the shores of Lake Ogawara in Misawa City in the Aomori Prefecture.
The wing's mission is to "protect U.S. interests in the Pacific and defend Japan; deter adversaries through our presence, readiness, and ability to project air combat power."
The 35 FW employs two squadrons of the Block 50 model F-16CJ Fighting Falcon. The wing conducts daily F-16 flight training to maintain its combat readiness edge. Its pilots fly air-to-air weapons delivery exercises over water and sharpen their air-to-ground skills using the Draughon Range located 12 miles north of Misawa.
In addition to its flight training schedule, the wing holds quarterly local operational readiness exercises, which allow its people to concentrate training on war fighting skills essential for readiness. The 35 FW also maintains its readiness by participating in Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercises, including RED FLAG-Alaska, COPE TAUFAN in Malaysia, and COMMANDO SLING in Singapore. The wing also participates in other joint and bilateral exercises, such as NORTHERN EDGE in Alaska and KEEN SWORD in Japan.
Additionally, the wing has continually supported the War on Terror, including two deployments of F-16s and personnel in support of ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM in 2007.
Four groups are assigned to the 35 FW: the 35th Maintenance Group, 35th Medical Group, 35th Mission Support Group and 35th Operations Group. The 35 FW also serves as the host unit to a variety of associate units representing all four U.S. military services. One such unit, Misawa Security Operations Center, includes Naval Air Facility Misawa; Naval Information Operations Command Misawa; Sub-Unit 2, Company I Marine Support Battalion; 373d Intelligence Group, and the Army's 403d Military Intelligence Detachment.
Originally activated at Johnson Air Base, Japan on August 10, 1948 the wing carries the bestowed honors of the Army Air Force's 35th Fighter Group, established on December 22, 1939.
Through various reorganizations, redesignations, inactivations and reactivations, many installations throughout the globe became home to the 35th Fighter Wing and its changing mission. Originally the 35th flew air defense over Japan but, in 1950, the wing deployed a tactical group and two squadrons to support ground forces during the Korean War.
From 1971 to 1992, the 35th called George Air Force Base, CA, home. During Operation DESERT STORM, the 35th operated out of Bahrain and played a key role in the war's successful air campaign, flying 3,072 combat missions totaling more than 10,000 hours. From May 1993 to September 1995, the 35th operated out of Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland.
After a 37-year absence, the 35 FW returned to its roots October 1, 1994, when it replaced and assumed the mission of the 432nd Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base. Since achieving initial operating capability with its F-16CJ aircraft in 1996, the wing's fighter squadrons deployed nine times to Southwest Asia for Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and three times for Operation NORTHERN WATCH. In March 2003, the 14 FS supported Operation IRAQI FREEDOM while deployed to SWA, flying 238 combat sorties and 1,336 hours including missions over Baghdad during "shock and awe," the opening night of the war.
Throughout the 35th Fighter Group's and 35 FW's sixty-six year history, it has flown 25 different aircraft. Its major unit awards and citations include a Distinguished Unit Citation, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, six Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" device, eight Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, and three Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses with Palm.