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Brief History of PACAF & Timeline of Events

Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) traces its roots to the activation of Far East Air Forces (FEAF), on August 3, 1944, at Brisbane, Queensland, Australia commanded by Lt Gen George Kenney. FEAF was subordinate to the U.S. Army Forces Far East and served as the headquarters of Allied Air Forces Southwest Pacific Area. By mid-1945, three numbered air forces—5th, 7th, and 13th—were supporting operations in the Pacific. At that time, the Army Air Forces in the Pacific became part of the largest and most powerful military organization ever fielded by any country in the world.

After World II, FEAF and 5th Air Force remained in Japan, while 7th Air Force operated from Hawaii, and 13th Air Force from the Philippines. In the post-war years, FEAF was designated the theater air force for the Far East Command. All air forces in the Far East and Southwest Pacific were placed under one Air Force commander for the first time.

*For more PACAF history click here.

75th Anniversary Timeline Graphic

75th Anniversary Video

Video by Tech. Sgt. Zach Vaughn
PACAF celebrates 75 years
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
Aug. 2, 2019 | 2:26
Pacific Air Forces celebrates 75 years of enduring presence in the Indo-Pacific region. Led by Lt. Gen. George Kenney, Far East Air Forces activated on August 3, 1944 and was headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Over the years, FEAF moved its headquarters to Japan and finally to Hawaii with a re-designation of Pacific Air Forces. Today, as the Air Component to United States Indo-Pacific Command, PACAF stands ready to support a wide array of missions to strengthen alliances and partnerships and to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.
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Past Commanders

Key Events

Aug. 3, 1944: Far East Air Forces activates in Brisbane, Australia

July 27, 1953: Korean Armistice signed, Panmunjom, Korea

July 1, 1957: Far East Air Forces re-designates as Pacific Air Forces, moved to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii

April 30, 1975: U.S. begins Saigon, Vietnam evacuation, Operation NEWLIFE

June 15, 1991: Mount Pinatubo erupts causing Clark Air Base, Philippines evacuation, Operation FIERY VIGIL

March 11, 2011: Massive earthquake and tsunami strike Japan, Operation TOMODACHI

Sep. 28, 2012: 13th Air Force inactivated, personnel combined with PACAF staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

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