Cooperation with the U.S. Forces and Australian Defense Forces

Activities of the U.S. Forces

Children from Kesennuma Oshima seeing off the U.S. Marine Corps
Children from Kesennuma Oshima seeing off the U.S. Marine Corps

Japan’s ally, the U. S., dispatched large member of the U.S. Forces personnel, approx. 16,000, under “Operation Tomodachi”.

Admiral Walsh, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, arrived in Japan shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake and immediately took charge of the relief efforts. Under his command, the U.S. Forces provided a variety of assistance, including for search and rescue efforts, the transport of supplies and personnel, and the recovery and reconstruction of the disaster areas. During its peak, approximately 140 aircraft and 15 vessels executed the Operation.

Operation Soul Train
Operation Soul Train
An English class being given by of the U.S. Forces members
An English class being given by of the U.S. Forces members

Recovery of Sendai Airport

The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army cleared rubble from Sendai Airport to allow for the flights of private carriers.

Restoration of train service: “Operation Soul Train”

For the swift restoration of the JR Senseki Line that had suspended service in areas devastated by the tsunami, the U.S. Army and SDF jointly cleared rubble from tsunami-affected train stations and their vicinities.

Cultural exchange: “Sakura Class”

U.S. Forces personnel offered English and cultural exchange classes at an elementary school in Ishinomaki City.

U.S. Forces and Australian Defense Forces Assist with the Transport of SDF Units

Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force

The U.S. Forces and Australian Defense Forces provided full support for the transport of SDF units from their bases in Hokkaido and Okinawa to the disaster areas for the provision of relief.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s C-17 transport aircraft airlifted 75 rescue personnel and 2 search dogs from Australia. In Japan, the aircraft then transported relief supplies and equipment, including pumps for the containment of the nuclear power station accident.

March 16-18

The landing ship of the U.S. Forces, the USS Tortuga, assisted with the transport of the Hokkaido-based GSDF 5th Brigade.

  • ・236 personnel
  • ・93 vehicles

March 17-19

The U.S. Forces and the Australian Defense Forces’ C-17 transport aircraft assisted with the transport of the Okinawa-based GSDF 15th Brigade.

  • ・115 personnel
  • ・68 vehicles
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