1st Helicopter Brigade

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1st Helicopter Brigade
Active March 20, 1959 - Present
Country Japan Japan
Branch Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces
Type Logistics and Transportation
Role Humanitarian/Materiel/Personnel Transport
Size 900 soldiers
Part of Under Central Readiness Force
Garrison/HQ Kisarazu, Chiba, Chiba
Nickname 1HB

The 1st Helicopter Brigade (第1ヘリコプター団 Dai-ichi Herikoputa-Dan?) is based at the JGSDF Camp Kisarazu in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture.[1] Formerly an independent brigade, it was attached on the Central Readiness Force on March 28, 2007.[2] As a tradition done in every New Year like most JGSDF units, various aircraft of the 1st Helicopter Brigade would be deployed to conduct annual exercises from their Kisarazu base.[3]

The brigade would operate under the Central Readiness Force as a supporting unit for the 1st Airborne Brigade and the Japanese Special Forces Group if deployed into a combat zone.[4] Prior to the brigade's integration to the Central Readiness Force and after, it had been actively involved in civil disaster operations on Natural disasters such as forest fires and Earthquakes.[5]


The 1st Helicopter Brigade was first established on March 20, 1959 by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Aviation School in the JGSDF Camp Kasumigaura in Kasumigaura, Ibaraki. After the brigade was established, 2 helicopter companies were created on March 1, 1968 in a period of reorganization with one of the companies being worked out for its establishment.

The 1st Helicopter Company was stationed in the JGSDF Camp Kisarazu on March 22, 1968 with the 2nd Helicopter Company on June 1, 1968. A special transport squad was established in the brigade on December 19, 1986. Another period of reorganization came through on March 27, 2006 when the brigade had been reorganized again to have a communications and reconnaissance squad added to the unit. On March 28, 2007, the 1st Helicopter Brigade had been formally indoctrinated into the Central Readiness Force.[2]

The brigade had been deployed by the Central Readiness Force on its first operation to subdue wildfires in the forests of the Yamanashi Prefecture on April 29, 2007.[6] They've been also deployed to humanitarian operations, specifically in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake.[5]

Aircraft in Service[edit]

The 1st Helicopter Brigade are currently utilizing the following aircraft for the Central Readiness Force. The following include:[7]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Notes
Boeing CH-47 Chinook  Japan Transport helicopter CH-47J
Built by Kawasaki
Eurocopter EC 225[8]  France VIP helicopter EC 225LP
Kawasaki OH-1  Japan Scout helicopter Under delivery
MD Helicopters MD 500  Japan Scout helicopter OH-6D
Built by Kawasaki
Mitsubishi MU-2  Japan liaison LR-1
Beechcraft Super King Air  United States Utility transport LR-2
Mitsubishi H-60  Japan transport helicopter UH-60JA Under license built


  • Headquarters
    • 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Facilities - Japan Ground Self Defence Force". Global Security. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  2. ^ a b Archived June 13, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "What is the CRF (Central Readiness Force)?". Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  5. ^ a b [1]
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ 第1ヘリコプター団の装備機 (in Japanese). Central Readiness Force. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  8. ^ "Japan Defense Agency received first EC225 in VIP configuration for the Japanese Emperor’s Royal Flight Service". EADS. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 

External links[edit]