Commander Fleet Air Western Pacific (COMFAIRWESTPAC) Detachment Misawa was established on 1 July 1972 with a complement of 4 officers and 27 enlisted personnel. The detachment was initially responsible for operation of the air field and the fuel farms at Misawa.
In January 1973, COMFAIRWESTPAC Detachment Misawa commenced supporting a three-plane patrol squadron detachment, assisting them in their Cold War surveillance mission. In mid-1973, the detachment took over responsibility for support of all transient aircraft services from the U.S. Air Force and additionally provided support for tactical aircraft from the carriers USS Hancock (CV 19) and USS Midway (CV 41). During this period the initial elements of an Intermediate Maintenance Facility began providing Navy aircraft maintenance support. The fall of 1973 also saw Navy Misawa assume control and coordination for the use of the nearby Ripsaw Air-to-Ground Weapons Range and an air-to-air weapons range.
In February of 1974, COMFAIRWESTPAC Detachment's manpower allowance was increased to seven officers and well over 100 enlisted personnel. The fall of the year saw an ever-increasing Navy tempo of operations in support of both the patrol squadrons and carrier air detachments.
1975 continued to find the pace of Navy Misawa operations at a high level and the manpower allowance was doubled. In August, the first full patrol squadron arrived for a regularly scheduled deployment. In September 1975, the Chief of Naval Operations directed the COMFAIRWESTPAC Detachment Misawa be disestablished and Naval Air Facility Misawa be commissioned on 1 October 1975.
For more information about the history of Misawa please visit click here to view a newspaper article from the 1950's about the history of Misawa Air Base.