News: Joint Task Force 505 operates in Okinawa, Yokota
OKINAWA, Japan – The U.S. military continues to assist the voluntary departure from Japan of eligible Defense Deparment family members. To date, a total of 7,001 eligible family members, including 394 pets, have been transported in the voluntary authorized departure, known as Operation Pacific Passage. Most families choosing to temporarily relocate were transported by military contract aircraft. The few remaining family members will be transported over the next few days.
Joint Task Force 505 was recently established to conduct Operation Pacific Passage at the direction of the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Robert Willard.
“Our current focus has the been the orderly processing and movement of eligible military family members who have chosen to temporarily relocate to the United States,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Bases Japan, and commander of the recently established Joint Task Force 505.
“We are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our personnel during this dynamic time. The safety of our military personnel and family members remains a top priority,” he added.
On March 17, the office of the under secretary of defense authorized DoD eligible family members, located in selected prefectures on the island of Honshu, Japan, to depart for designated locations of the United States and other designated safe haven locations.
“These actions will in no way diminish ongoing relief operations in support of the government of Japan,” said Glueck. “We remain absolutely committed to this effort for as long as our assistance is required.”
A joint task force is a command with a specific designation that is composed of two or more military departments, operating under a single commander. It is capable of responding to the full range of contingencies across the operational scale such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts anywhere in the Asia-Pacific region.
Joint Task Force 505 is headquartered on Okinawa with a forward operating element at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo.