U.S. Military Aids Japanese in Earthquake Aftermath


U.S. military forces in Japan are providing support to relief efforts by the government of Japan as it responds in the aftermath of two damaging earthquakes that have occurred in the region, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said here today.

An April 15 magnitude-7.0 event on the island of Kyushu in southwest Japan occurred one day after a series of foreshocks in the nearby Kumamodo region, which included earthquakes of magnitude 6.2 and magnitude 6.0, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The April 14 events resulted in at least nine deaths and more than 800 injuries, the USGS earthquake website said.

At the Pentagon today, Davis said that the longstanding alliance between the United States and Japan allows for U.S. military forces in Japan to provide what the military calls rapid integrated support -- including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief -- to Japan Self-Defense Forces responders during civil relief efforts.

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VIDEO | 01:43 | Kumamoto Earthquake Relief
The DoD is providing assistance through the use of MV-22 Ospreys, one UC-35 Citation aircraft and three C-130 Hercules transport aircraft that are helping move Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel and equipment, Davis said.

All over the world, including in Japan, an arrangement called Defense Support of Civil Authorities “allows for individual installation-level commanders to provide immediate response to the community for life-saving needs for up to 72 hours,” he said, “even in advance of a formal government-to-government request.”

During the briefing this morning, Davis said that U.S. aircraft had made four flights so far in their disaster relief efforts.

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)