New, improved passenger terminal open at Yokota Air Base

  • Published
  • By Ms. Amelia Dickson
  • 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing

Passengers traveling to Yokota Air Base in Japan will be greeted by a new and improved Air Mobility Command passenger terminal, operated by the 730th Air Mobility Squadron.

The Yokota community celebrated the $27.5 million facility’s opening with a ribbon cutting on Monday, June 13. The project spanned nearly seven years, with planning starting in late 2015, construction starting in June of 2020 and completion in June of 2022.

“The new, state-of-the-art AMC passenger terminal will greatly improve the experience of customers traveling to, from and through Yokota Air Base.” said Lt. Col. Brandon Greenawalt, commander, 730th AMS. “Our Airmen pride themselves in providing the best possible service to active duty members, families, civilians and mission partners traveling through our passenger terminal and overcame significant challenges over the past two years, navigating COVID restrictions and mission surge.”

“This new facility is a significant leap forward in capacity and capability, allowing the squadron to more effectively execute that mission,” he added.

The Yokota Air Base Passenger Terminal is integral to mission execution in the Indo-Pacific region, serving as the primary passenger hub in the western Pacific. Mission partners, Department of Defense members, civilians and families throughout U.S. Indo-Pacific Command rely on services provided by the terminal and the 730th AMS.

The terminal provides Space Available travel, Space Reserved travel and Patriot Express airlift.

The Yokota Air Base Passenger Terminal is one in a network of terminals operated by the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing and its six air mobility squadrons in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Our en route Airmen provide an essential service to the DoD and mission partners, ensuring personnel can travel to strategic locations throughout the Indo-Pacific safely and efficiently,” said Col. Dan Cooley, commander, 515th AMOW. “The new passenger terminal at Yokota Air Base increases the Global Air Mobility Support System’s (GAMSS) ability to project and sustain the joint force for wartime and peacetime mission requirements.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 730th AMS saw a 300 percent increase in Patriot Express missions, with an additional 70,000 Patriot Express passengers traveling through the terminal in 2021 when compared to the previous year.

730th AMS passenger terminal personnel now have the ability to process passengers more efficiently, with six check in desks and improved capabilities. The terminal can now hold up to 1,500 personnel.

The large-scale project improved an existing 46,000-square-foot facility, repairing and replacing aging and unreliable architectural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, communications and fire protection systems. The building’s floor plan was reconfigured, and ceilings, floors, windows and interior partitions were replaced.

Passengers will also notice the terminal has style — including two large torii gates and Japanese artwork.

More than 100 workers and 11 subcontracting companies completed construction in 186,977 man hours. During construction, the 730th AMS operated the Yokota Air Base Passenger Terminal in a temporary facility.

The 515th AMOW, headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, oversees six air mobility squadrons strategically located throughout the Indo-Pacific region in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Japan and Korea. The 515th AMOW is an Air Mobility Command unit responsible for the movement of cargo and personnel throughout the Indo-Pacific region.