1st Helicopter Brigade
|1st Helicopter Brigade|
|Active||March 20, 1959 – Present|
|Branch||Japan Ground Self-Defense Force|
|Role||Provide aviation support to Central Readiness Force|
|Part of||Central Readiness Force|
|Garrison/HQ||Kisarazu, Chiba, Chiba|
The 1st Helicopter Brigade (第１ヘリコプター団 Dai-ichi Herikoputa-Dan?) is based at JGSDF Camp Kisarazu in Kisarazu, in the Chiba Prefecture. Formerly an independent brigade, it was attached to the Central Readiness Force on March 28, 2007. Like most JGSDF units, the brigade's aircraft are deployed to conduct exercises from their Kisarazu base annually during the New Year period.
The brigade would operate under the Central Readiness Force as a supporting unit for the Central Readiness Regiment (CRR), 1st Airborne Brigade and the Japanese Special Forces Group (SFGp) if deployed into a combat zone.[dead link] Prior to the brigade's integration into the Central Readiness Force, it had been actively involved in civil disaster operations in response to natural disasters such as forest fires and earthquakes.
The 1st Helicopter Brigade was first established on March 20, 1959, by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Aviation School at JGSDF Camp Kasumigaura in Kasumigaura, Ibaraki. After the brigade was established, two helicopter companies were created on March 1, 1968, during a period of reorganization.
The 1st Helicopter Company was stationed at JGSDF Camp Kisarazu on March 22, 1968, with the 2nd Helicopter Company arriving on June 1, 1968. A special transport squad was established in the brigade on December 19, 1986. Another period of reorganization began on March 27, 2006, when a communications and reconnaissance squad was added to the unit. On March 28, 2007, the 1st Helicopter Brigade was formally incorporated into the Central Readiness Force.
The brigade was deployed by the Central Readiness Force on its first operation to subdue wildfires in the forests of the Yamanashi Prefecture on April 29, 2007. They have been also deployed on humanitarian operations, specifically in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake.
Aircraft in service
The 1st Helicopter Brigade currently utilize the following aircraft for the Central Readiness Force:
|Boeing CH-47 Chinook||Japan||Transport helicopter||CH-47J
|Built by Kawasaki|
|Eurocopter EC 225||France||VIP helicopter||EC 225LP|
|Kawasaki OH-1||Japan||Scout helicopter||Built by Kawasaki|
|MD Helicopters MD 500||Japan||Scout helicopter||OH-6D
|Built by Kawasaki|
|Beechcraft Super King Air||United States||Utility transport||LR-2|
|Mitsubishi H-60||Japan||Transport helicopter||UH-60JA||Built by Mitsubishi|
- Headquarters and Service Company (OH-6D)
- 1st Transportation Helicopter Group
- 103rd Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
- 104th Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
- 105th Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
- 106th Flight Squadron (CH-47J/JA)
- 102nd Flight Squadron (UH-60JA,OH-6D)
- Special transportation helicopter Squadron (EC 225LP)
- Communications and Reconnaissance Squadron (LR-1, LR-2)
- Field Maintenance Party
- "Facilities – Japan Ground Self Defence Force". Global Security. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Archived June 13, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- 平成22年 習志野 第1空挺団 降下訓練始め (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- "What is the CRF （Central Readiness Force）？". Retrieved 2009-01-13.
- 山梨県甲州市勝沼町山林火災災害派遣 （第１ヘリコプター団）. Retrieved on August 24, 2011. (Japanese)
- 第１ヘリコプター団の装備機 (in Japanese). Central Readiness Force. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Japan Defense Agency received first EC225 in VIP configuration for the Japanese Emperors Royal Flight Service". EADS. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2011-04-03.