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Airman Jarrett Smith
Airman 1st Class Tylir Meyer
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac
Staff Sgt. Caroline Parks
5th Air Force, with headquarters at Yokota Air Base, Japan, is the U.S. Air Force's oldest continuously serving Numbered Air Force. The organization has provided more than 75 years of continuous air power to the Pacific since its establishment in September 1941.
5th Air Force's impressive warfighting history led to its nickname as the Fighting Fifth, but its enduring presence today is intended to deter aggression and maintain regional stability.
The 13,000 Airmen and Air Force civilians assigned to 5th Air Force and its three main bases partner with Joint services and counterparts from the Japan Self-Defense Forces to defend Japan, respond to regional contingencies, and enhance the half-century-old U.S.-Japan Security Alliance.
Together, 5th Air Force and its Japanese allies are maintaining a clear and visible presence and ensuring a stable and secure environment in the Indo-Pacific region.
Fifth Air Force (5 AF) activated for the first time in its history as the Philippine Department Air Force at Nichols Field, Philippines, in September 1941. The following month the organization underwent a re-designation that reflected a wider area of responsibility in the region: Far East Air Force (FEAF).
FEAF immediately experienced its baptism by fire in December 1941, only a few hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, had drawn the U.S. into World War II. The enemy forces’ strike on the Philippines was also a surprise attack that caught all U.S. forces on the islands flat-footed, destroying most FEAF aircraft on the ground before they could be deployed against the invaders. However, some FEAF aviators succeeded in becoming airborne and engaged enemy fighters, helping to slow the Japanese advance on the Philippines and thereby enabling many Allied forces to withdraw south to the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) and Australia.
FEAF headquarters relocated briefly to Australia, then Java, and back to Australia as the Japanese war machine pressed forward and expanded the boundaries of its empire. On Feb. 5, 1942, FEAF received its numerical designation, becoming “5 Air Force” and then “Fifth Air Force” September 18 while under the command of Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney. By this time, Fifth Air Force and other Allied air, land, and sea forces had stalled the enemy juggernaut and subsequently began the long counteroffensive to liberate the Southwest Pacific region from the Japanese.
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