Losses and Aviation Safety

JASDF F-15J Eagle fighters take over the street during 2024 Hualien earthquake after tsunami warning

JASDF F-15J fighter jets moved to high ground after tsunami warning

Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-15J fighter jets belonging to the 9th Air Wing (204th / 304th TFS) stationed at JASDF Naha Air Base on Okinawa took swift action following the tsunami warning after the Hualien earthquake on Apr. 3, 2024, Alert 5 first noted. As the photos in this post show, the base in fact scrambled aircraft to assess damage in the Sakishima Islands while also moving F-15Js and other equipment to higher ground to ensure their safety.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-15C Eagle 144th Fighter Wing, 194th Fighter Squadron, CA/80-004 – California Air National Guard – Fresno ANG Base, CA – 2016

The Mar. 11, 2011 disaster at Matsushima Air Base

Moving aircraft to high ground can prevent damages to aircraft like happened on Mar. 11, 2011 when disaster struck Japan with a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and caused a wall of 30-foot-high water to obliterate parts of the northeastern coast. The JASDF the most impact at Matsushima Air Base, home of the Blue Impulse and 21 Hikotai. It left, among other assets, eighteen F-2Bs in various states of disarray.

As told by Airman 1st Class Jordyn Fetter, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, in the article Restored aircraft signifies recovery from disaster, two months after the disaster, an Airman from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force approached one of these F-2 Fighter aircraft and climbed onto its wing. He pulled out a cloth and began cleaning it, unknowingly beginning the recovery process of the beloved aircraft.

More than four years after restoration began, the first fully-repaired F-2 Fighter aircraft was welcomed to Misawa Air Base, Japan, during a ceremony on Apr. 21, 20215 that signified more than just a restoration of hardware. It was another mark of a country bouncing back from a period of partial devastation.

It was a recognizable step in Japan’s recovery from the disaster because it was the first of 18 damaged aircraft belonging to the JASDF’s 4th Air Wing from Matsushima AB to be restored.

In response to the disaster, the JASDF, US military and other personnel were deployed to help with rescue efforts.

Following the disaster, thousands of JASDF and US military members have worked at Matsushima Air Base to restore it to its previous condition.

This model is available to order from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit: Japan Air Self Defense Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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