Hangar 800 Safety Demolition Ceremony
By Naoko Kurokui, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 17, 2019
Yokota Air Base, Japan --
A safety prayer for the demolition of the Hanger 800 was held at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 26, 2019. Approximately 30 people from the United States and Japan attended the ceremony, including Lt. Col. Bradly Bucholz, commander of the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron and George Matusak, acting deputy Commander of the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron, as a way of saying goodbye to the structure that has served Yokota so well over the years.
At the ceremony, a prayer was offered by the priest of the Shinmei Shrine in Fussa City to the hangar which has supported base operations for so many years. The prayer itself expressed gratitude for the hangar, a safe demolition and construction of a new facility, and for the overall the peace of the base.
Building 800 was built and used by the former Japanese Imperial Army around 1939 in the era of Tama Airfield, the predecessor of Yokota Air Base. Since then, it has been used by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force, and has been actively used for about 80 years. The hangar is also known to have played its role during many historical events such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War.
With the demolition scheduled as a result of discussions with the local Fussa City Board of Education with considerations toward the age of the building, some have expressed sadness that a fixture and key witness of the history of Yokota is now disappearing.
In recent years, Hangar 800 has been used as an equipment management facility, and has played a role as an important facility in various exercises and operations between the U.S. Air Force and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and other allied forces.
The hangar will be demolished by March of next year and will be rebuilt within two years. In its place, a new hangar with increased durability is expected to further establish the base as a strategically important hub in the Pacific region.