Japan

Japan: Operation Tomodachi: day-by-day updates of relief efforts, April 2, 3, 2011

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

150 additional Sailors and Marines from the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit join the 187-member team on the island of Oshima. The crew is taking part in Operation Field Day, a mission to support the Japan Ground Self Defense Force in cleaning up the island. Today, U.S. Sailors and Marines help the JSDF with efforts on the shores of the Uranohama harbor and will move to the shores of the Yogai and Komagata harbors in the next few days. As part of Operation Field Day, the team also continued clearing debris around Oshimatake Junior High School.

USNS Safeguard and USS Tortuga, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 and Underwater Construction Team 2 are en route to Oshima to assist Japan Self Defense Force with clearing debris in the harbors.

The number of U.S. 7th Fleet forces actively engaged in the operation is currently 14 ships, 130 aircraft and 13,893 personnel. Since Operation Tomodachi began, U.S. 7th Fleet forces have delivered more than 260 tons of relief supplies to survivors of the tsunami and earthquake and flown 160 aerial reconnaissance and search sorties.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Seventh Fleet forces continue support of Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in Operation Tomodachi. Today's focus of effort continues to be the search for human remains off the coast of Tohoku and clean up and clearance operations on the island of Oshima.

Seventh Fleet ships, helicopters and aircraft are searching over 2,000 square miles of ocean in a concerted effort to find victims of the March 11 tsunami. USS Cowpens, USS Preble, USS Shiloh and USS Curtis D. Wilbur are searching for remains off the north east coast of Honshu, with their helicopters, additional support helicopters from the USS Ronald Reagan and one P-3 Orion aircraft providing aerial reconnaissance support.

U.S. Navy barges containing 500,000 gallons of fresh water are moored at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, adding this resource to the fresh water cooling efforts. Japanese authorities will use the fresh water to replace salt water currently in some of the reactors.

USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) are released from Operation Tomodachi today and will proceed with other tasking.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Seventh Fleet forces continue support of Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in Operation Tomodachi. Today's focus of effort is the grim task of searching for human remains off the Tohoku coast using both aircraft and surface searches, as the bodies of victims which initially sunk may rise back to the surface over time. Additional aerial reconnaissance and search sorties are scheduled for tomorrow. The Japan Self Defense Force requested U.S. assistance due to the size of the search area. Locations of remains will be marked and that data sent to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force for retrieval and honorable interment of the victims.

USNS Safeguard and USS Tortuga, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 and Underwater Construction Team 2 conclude survey and obstacle identification operations at the port of Miyako.

187 Sailors and Marines from the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit supporting Japan Ground Self Defense Forces begin Operation "Field Day", a clearing and clean up mission on the remote island of Oshima off the coast of Kessennuma.

USS Harpers Ferry and USS Germantown will be released from Operation Tomodachi tomorrow and proceed to Okinawa. USS Fitzgerald, USS McCampbell and USS Mustin are in Yokosuka replenishing supplies and are planned to rejoin Operation Tomodachi upon completion.