MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP S.D. BUTLER, OKINAWA, Japan – III Marine Expeditionary Force aircraft and personnel continue to support relief efforts in Japan, moving personnel, supplies and equipment from Okinawa to mainland Japan, March 19.
The operation, known as Tomodachi, means “friends” in Japanese, and was chosen by Japan.
Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF, delivered blankets and more than 100 barrels of kerosene to the disaster-stricken area of Sendai, providing much-needed sources of heat for its residents.
Marine Corps leadership continued planning with their Japanese counterparts for Operation Tomodachi. Maj. Gen. Mark A. Brilakis, commander, Joint Forces Land Component Command, visited with Japan Northeastern Army Headquarters to talk to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force staff and soldiers. Additionally, Col. Craig Q. Timberlake, acting-commanding general, III MEF (Forward), met with the Miyagi Prefecture governor Yoshihiro Murai, and the mayor of Sendai, Emiko Okuyama, to discuss relief efforts.
Currently, there are approximately 594 Marines, sailors, and civilians from III MEF and Marine Corps Bases Japan deployed in support of Operation Tomodachi. Marine aircraft have flown 223 sorties to date for continued support to the foreign humanitarian assistance mission.
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