US Marine Corps, April 23, 2016 - MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan by Capt. Jennifer Giles- Two MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit completed the fifth day of disaster relief flight operations in support of Joint Task Force Chinzei, led by the Japan Self Defense Force, after the island of Kyushu was hit by a series of earthquakes.
The MV-22Bs departed Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at 12:55 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. Japan Standard Time. One Osprey proceeded to helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), where members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force loaded the Osprey. The Osprey proceeded to Hakusui Sports Park, Minamiaso where the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force unloaded the supplies.
The second Osprey departed MCAS Iwakuni bound for Takayubaru Camp in Kumamoto and was loaded with relief supplies by the JSDF. Once loaded, the aircraft departed for Hakusui Sports Park and was unloaded by JGSDF forces. Both aircraft returned to MCAS Iwakuni.
Through a combined effort, 6,700 lbs. of relief supplies including tents, food and water were delivered within the span of three hours.
"The Japanese are fully capable of providing relief to their citizens on their own, but we were able to team up and help them get supplies to the victims of the earthquake faster,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel S. Myers an MV-22B airframes mechanic with VMM-265 (Rein.), 31st MEU. “It feels good to be a part of the relief effort and help out our Japanese allies during an emergency. They’re always there for us and we’ll always be there for them when needed.”
Today’s delivery brings the collected total of relief supplies delivered by the 31st MEU to Minamiaso, the area hardest hit by the earthquake, since the beginning of the relief efforts to approximately 82,700 lbs.
The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible amphibious force that utilizes naval integration to respond to crises and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU and remains the Marine Corps' force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.