In Japanese, sentai (戦隊) is a military unit and may be literally translated as "squadron", "task force", "group" or "wing". The terms "regiment" and "flotilla", while sometimes used as translations of Sentai, are also used to refer to larger formations.
It is perhaps best known as a term used during World War II by the military of the Empire of Japan, for Imperial Japanese Army Air Service (IJAAS) and Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) military aviation units equivalent to a group or wing in other air forces. However, the term had slightly different meanings in the IJAAS and the IJNAS.
An IJAAS Sentai was made up of two to four squadrons (chūtai). In the IJAAS, two or more Sentai comprised a hikōdan (air brigade). In the later stages of World War II, the IJAAS abolished chūtai and divided its sentai into hikōtai (flying units) and seibitai (maintenance units). A sentai commander (sentaichō) was generally a lieutenant colonel.
Sentai in the Japanese Navy was prescribed by a law the Naval military command No. 10, Kantairei (艦隊令) on 30 November 1914. It is as follows if paraphrase them.
The Super Sentai Series (スーパー戦隊シリーズ Sūpā Sentai Shirīzu) is a franchise of Japanese tokusatsu television dramas airing on TV Asahi that uses the word sentai to describe a group of three or more costumed superheroes who often pilot fictional robotic vehicles.
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