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    Operation Tomodachi: Mobility Airmen supporting effort on multiple fronts

    Operation Tomodachi: Mobility Airmen supporting effort on multiple fronts

    Photo By Yasuo Osakabe | Senior Airman Stanley Dennis, 730th Air Mobility Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan,...... read more read more

    SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - Every day since an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami struck Japan on March 11, mobility airmen have been on a busy pace.

    Every day since March 11, for example, reports show aircrew Airmen flying C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules aircraft moving cargo and personnel to support Operation Tomodachi - the operation designation for the Japan relief effort.

    In a March 17 Department of Defense news report, President Barack Obama discussed the level of the aid effort by the U.S. military -- including those by mobility Airmen.

    "We are working aggressively to support our Japanese ally at this time of extraordinary challenge," President Obama said in the DOD report. "Search and rescue teams are on the ground in Japan to help the recovery effort ... The U.S. military, which has helped to ensure the security of Japan for decades, is working around the clock.

    "We've flown hundreds of missions to support the recovery efforts, and distributed thousands of pounds of food and water to the Japanese people," President Obama said.

    An example of those "hundreds of missions" occurred March 17 when a C-17 from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, transported Japan Ground Self-Defense Force troops and vehicles from Okinawa to Yokota Air Base, Japan. Additionally, on March 15 at Misawa AB, Japan, one of many C-17s arriving there delivered passengers as well as pallets of humanitarian cargo that included bottled water and even diapers.

    A news report by 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at Misawa AB provided a hint to how busy the airfield there has been in support of Operation Tomodachi since March 11.

    "As of March 16, the wing has played host to 36 different aircraft, including Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs, Boeing 767s and Navy C-2 Greyhounds," the 35th FW report by Tech. Sgt. Philip Butterfield shows. "These aircraft have ferried in 329 passengers and 254 tons of cargo. Before they headed out, they drank up to 111,000 gallons of fuel."

    U.S. Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces have the lead role in the Japan relief effort, but Air Mobility Command's mobility Airmen are staying busy as well. According to Tanker Airlift Control Center Public Affairs, statistics through March 16 shows AMC has supported 29 C-17 and KC-10 Extender sorties and the delivery of approximately 177 tons of cargo and 57 passengers to Japan.

    Those same statistics for "AMC-controlled" missions show the command's air refueling forces, primarily KC-10s and their aircrews from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., off-loaded approximately 31,400 gallons of fuel to aircraft heading to Japan between March 11 and 16.

    Wherever mobility Airmen are working from, and whatever base they are from, they are all part of a combined effort by the U.S. military and the world to help Japan, according to another DOD news report March 17. Navy Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said in that report that U.S. forces are working alongside people in organizations "representing nearly 100 other countries" that also are providing aid and support to the stricken Japanese populace.

    "There's a great synergy by the international community in this effort and we're proud to be a part of it," Admiral Willard said in the report.

    (Lisa Daniel and Cheryl Pellerin, American Forces Press Service, and Tech. Sgt. Philip Butterfield, 35th FW Public Affairs, contributed to this report.)



    Date Taken: 03.18.2011
    Date Posted: 03.18.2011 16:49
    Story ID: 67326

    Web Views: 819
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