Airmen Press On with Japan Relief Efforts

The Air Force has delivered 107.5 tons of relief supplies and emergency equipment to Japan since last week’s earthquake and tsunami pummeled northern Japan. USAF tankers have offloaded more than 29,900 gallons of fuel to keep the aerial lifeline going, reported the Wall Street Journal, citing Air Mobility Command sources. Five days after tides raced across the tarmac at Japan’s Sendai Airport at the tsunami’s epicenter on March 11, special tactics airmen from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa succeeded in clearing the airport’s runway for use as a staging area, with an MC-130H making the first landing on Wednesday. HH-60 crews flying from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo aided in establishing a forward refueling area at Yamagata Airfield near the disaster zone to facilitate the quick turnaround of US and Japanese search and rescue helicopters. While aiding the Japanese, Yokota and Misawa Air Base are still recovering from the earthquake. C-130 and C-17 airlifters earlier this week delivered 19 generators to Misawa to restore power there. (See our earlier coverage) (AFPS report by Cheryl Pellerin) (Kadena release) (Kadena report by TSgt. Aaron Cram) (Yokota release)