Operation Tomodachi Joshua L. Hayes


On the morning of March 12, 2011 the U.S. Military responded to the devastation caused by a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan. The subsequent tsunami destroyed towns and cities across the eastern shores of Japan.

On the morning of 12 March 2011, the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan carrying over 4,000 Marines and Sailors from 7th fleet area of operations responded to pleas for help.

The first few days involved reconnaissance missions over affected areas to assess the devastation. 

In response to the data collected, the Department of Defense allocated more resources.

At its peak, Operation Tomodachi would involve over 24,000 service members from the Marines, Navy, Air Force and Army. 189 aircraft, 24 ships, and roughly $90 million were used in relief efforts.

Marines from nearby bases in Japan were relatively undamaged. Once given the green light, they transitioned to immediately begin clean up efforts on the ground in 5 major cities.

The 4 services worked together in providing over 127 tons of material. More than 500,000 lbs of food and water were provided to those in need, and hundreds of civil defense workers were transported to begin relief efforts on the ground.
Those in the vicinity of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima power plant, were exposed to high levels of radiation fallout. As a precaution, all members were routinely checked for radiation, and complete wash-downs of ships and aircraft took place.
On 4 April 2011, Japanese Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa visited the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan to thank those aboard for their efforts. The efforts of the U.S. military in general during this operation, solidified a stronger alliance between the U.S. and Japan for years to come.
An alliance that neither those involved on either side are soon to forget.
Created By
Joshua Hayes

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