NEWS | April 25, 2016

Ospreys Conclude Earthquake Airlift Support

By Cpl. Nicole Zurbrugg

Two MV-22B Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced) conducted their last flights in support of the earthquake relief in Kyushu, Japan, April 23, 2016.

U.S. Forces Japan announced the end of direct U.S. airlift support to the Government of Japan’s earthquake relief efforts April 24.

In the aftermath of several devastating earthquakes, VMM-265 attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni April 17-18 with approximately eight Ospreys to provide airlift support at the request of the Government of Japan.

“Over the past week, our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were able to deliver more than 230,000 pounds of relief supplies to Japanese forces operating in remote areas of the quake zone,” said Lt. Gen. John Dolan, commander of U.S. Forces Japan. “As the recovery progressed and repairs were made to the area’s infrastructure, the need for rapid airlift of supplies by U.S. MV-22s and C-130 aircraft has diminished. This noble work highlighted our alliance and our friendship with Japan.”

The flights concluded five days of operations, including 20 missions delivering emergency relief supplies such as plastic sheeting, shelter kits, blankets, water, medical supplies, vehicles, and emergency and supplemental food.

“The people affected by the quake remain in our thoughts and prayers,” said Dolan. “I hope that our contribution to the relief effort was able to help them through this difficult time.”

U.S. Forces Japan will continue to work closely with the Government of Japan to respond to any emerging needs during the coordinated transition and retrograde of U.S. military capabilities.