Marine Corps Station Iwakuni sits about 600 miles southwest of Tokyo and is home to one half of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and 3rd Force Service Support Group. The 13,000 on site include Japanese employees. Much of this reclaimed land was originally used for farming and housing until the Japanese government purchased a portion of it for a Naval Air Station in 1938 when it was put into use as a training and defense base. After World War II various military forces occupied the base and in 1950 the Royal Navy and United States Air Force arrived as UN forces and flew missions to the front line of Korea, returning to refuel and rearm.
On April 1st, 1952 the U.S. Air Force took command of the station until 1954 when the U.S. Navy took over. In 1956 Naval Air Station Iwakuni was enlarged when the 1st MAW moved their headquarters here from Korea.
The Marine Corps took control of the Air Station in 1958 and the 1300 acre Air Station was designated MCAS Iwakuni in 1962. MCAS once again is expanding the base by reclaiming one half mile of the Seto Island Sea in a 10 year project. When completed the station’s size will be increased by 500 acres and will also accommodate commercial Japanese airlines. Colonel M.A. O’Halloran is the present commanding officer.