YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (NNS) — In response to the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Northern Honshu, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, directed Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76 to organize a Maritime Response cell on March 11, to coordinate U.S. Naval relief efforts out of U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) headquarters on Yokota Air Base.
As the amphibious force for 7th Fleet, CTF 76, commanded by Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, is designated as the Humanitarian and Disaster relief executive agent for earthquake and tsunami response in Japan.
“Seventh Fleet’s amphibious forces have a lot of experience with humanitarian and disaster relief,” said Landolt. “So it makes sense to use that experience to shape our response and help our ally and regional partner recover from this catastrophic event.”
In order to centralize command and control efforts for surveying affected areas, logistic support, troop and equipment transfer, and helicopter operations, representatives from CTF 76, CTF 70, CTF 72, CTF 73, and CTF 74 formed a Maritime Response cell to advise USFJ, and carry out the combined efforts of the Navy’s air, ground, and sea assets. This also allows for more effective coordination with our Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) counterparts, to ensure that the right assets are employed to affect a prompt and appropriate response.
U.S. 7th Fleet forces are assisting in search and rescue operations, surveying at-sea debris fields, and will soon assist the JMSDF with transporting vehicles, equipment, and supplies to support relief efforts.
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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron M. Pineda/Released)