Home News Marines step-up relief support for Japan earthquake victims

Marines step-up relief support for Japan earthquake victims

JSDF, U.S. Marines continue Ship to Shore Earthquake Relief
Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel carry supplies from a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), in Hakusui Sports Park, Kyushu island, Japan, April 20, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit/ Released)

OKINAWA, Japan – Two MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit completed the third day of disaster relief operations in support of Joint Task Force Chinzei, led by the Japan Self Defense Force, after the island of Kyushu was hit by a series of earthquakes.

The Ospreys were initially loaded with relief supplies received from a Japan Air Self Defense Force C-130H. The MV-22Bs departed Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in two sections, one at 1:00 p.m. and the other at 1:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time bound for Hakusui Sports Park, Minamiaso, where members of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force unloaded the much needed supplies to the area hardest hit by the earthquake.

Once the initial delivery was made, the first Osprey proceeded to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) to resupply, and the other headed to the JSDF Takayubaru Camp, collocated with the Aso-Kumamoto airport, to resupply; both aircraft then returned to Hakusui Sports Park to deliver the second payload of relief supplies for the residents of Minamiaso.

A total of 18,000 lbs. of relief supplies including food and water, were delivered within the span of three hours. Today’s delivery brings the collected total of relief supplies delivered by the 31st MEU since the beginning of the relief efforts to 65,000 lbs.

The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible amphibious force that utilizes naval integration to respond to crises and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU and remains the Marine Corps’ force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Story by Cpl. Samantha Villarreal

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