1st Helicopter Brigade

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1st Helicopter Brigade
Active March 20, 1959 – Present
Country Japan Japan
Branch Flag of JSDF.svg Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Type Aviation
Role Provide aviation support to Central Readiness Force
Size 900 soldiers
Part of JGSDF Central Readiness Force.svg 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.[1] Formerly an independent brigade, it was attached to the Central Readiness Force on March 28, 2007.[2] Like most JGSDF units, the brigade's aircraft are deployed to conduct exercises from their Kisarazu base annually during the New Year period.[3]

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][4] 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.[5]


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.[citation needed]

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.[2]

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.[6] They have been also deployed on humanitarian operations, specifically in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake.[5]

Aircraft in service[edit]

A Japanese CH-47 helicopter

The 1st Helicopter Brigade currently utilize the following aircraft for the Central Readiness Force:[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 Built by Kawasaki
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 Built by Mitsubishi


  • 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


  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]