Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is a Marine Corps military facility located only 10 kilometers away from Naha, in Ginowan. It is one of the active installations run by the United States of America in Japan. It is part of the Camp S. D. Butler complex, which hosts ten different installations in Okinawa. The base, as well as all the others, has been commissioned after the amazing battle of Okinawa, which represented the most prestigious victory of the United States of America over Japan during World War II. It also came with an impressive number of casualties. The installation is also used by the United Nations forces and includes a 2.7 km long runway, multiple barracks, logistical buildings and administrative facilities. Unlike some of the other bases in the Camp S. D. Butler complex, this one has not been commissioned to the United States Marine Corps as soon as the Okinawa island was taken over. It hosts around 4,000 Marines, not to mention about the civilian contractors, families and workers.
The history of MCAS Futenma began with a military airfield, which was built right after the Okinawa island was taken over by the Americans. The airfield was built on the ruins of five different villages and the additional farmlands. The first unit that joined the site was the 8-th Air Force. It used to work with B 29 Superfortress bombers only. Its force was extremely useful for the potential invasion of Japan. However, the Japanese surrendered before the invasion occurred. The base was commissioned to the United States Air Force and renamed to Futenma Air Base. Its importance was no longer significant. The base was mostly used to support the nearby facility Kadena Air Base.
In the summer of 1957, the United States Air Force decided to give up this installation and transferred it to the United States Marine Corps. It grew to become one of the most important ones in Japan. In the autumn of 2005, the Japanese and American governments have reached to an agreement to relocate MCAS Futenma due to the local concerns. According to this agreement, the base was supposed to move close to Camp Schwab, less than one kilometer away. In 2009, the Osaka officials have recommended moving the base inside the local international airport Kansai. The airport is established on an artificial island. The idea seemed appropriate due to the crowded amalgam of military installations in the Okinawa island. The officials aimed to spread them evenly around Japan. The last decision was taken in 2011. The base will relocate to Kadena Air Base, but no one can tell if this is the final agreement or not.
Due to the low military actions in Japan, there are only a few units hosted at MCAS Futenma. The three most important ones include the 18-th Group Air Control, the 36-th Group Aircraft and the headquarters. There are a few associate tenants too deployed there, but they are hosted for insignificant periods of time and their activity is not too intense.