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    航空自衛隊 Kōkū Jieitai, 301 Hikotai (Squadron). End of a Phantom era.

    Friday 20 November 2020 was the day 301 Hikotai of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) stopped flying the F-4EJ Kai Phantom. This squadron was the first JASDF combat unit which received the F-4EJ in August 1972 and was first named Rinji F-4EJ Hikotai, then Rinji 301 Hikotai and finally 301 Hikotai in October 1973. The unit moved from Hyakuri air base to Nyutabaru air base in March 1985 and returned to Hyakuri air base in October 2016.

    301 Hikotai will be resurrected at Misawa air base as the second F-35A unit.

    It is possible some flying activities will be performed in the coming weeks, perhaps ferrying Phantoms to other bases for preservation. We know Miho and Komatsu have received aircraft for display, however Chitose as a former Phantom base and Hamamatsu for the JASDF museum are also options.

    This is not the end of Phantom operations within the JASDF as the Gifu test unit still operates several non-modified F-4EJs and one Kai. The Hiko Kaihatsu Jikkendan will probably say good-bye to the Spook at the end of the Fiscal Year, so at the latest in March 2021. (Source: