Pacific Air Commandos deploy to support relief operations

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Cram
  • 353rd Special Operations Group
About 100 people and three MC-130Ps from the 353rd Special Operations Group have deployed to Yokota Air Base March 12 to support humanitarian relief operations after an earthquake measuring 8.9 in magnitude that hit the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Northeastern Japan March 11.

The members of several squadrons in the group stand ready to provide their unique expertise in their respective areas to the Japanese government and multiple organizations supporting relief efforts across the affected area.
"The devastation caused by the earthquake is truly heartbreaking." said Col. Stephen Bissonnette, deputy commander of the 353rd Special Operations Group. "As part of coordinated relief efforts, the group will work tirelessly with our Japanese counterparts and other relief organizations to help the people affected by the earthquake recover from this disaster."

The 353rd SOG will be able to utilize its aircraft and aircrews to conduct search and rescue, transport emergency response teams, equipment and relief supplies; survey and open airfields and helicopter landing zones while providing air traffic controllers to control the airfields and landing zones; provide emergent medical care to injured people; and assist the Japanese government and other relief agencies with a variety of highly-trained support personnel during humanitarian operations.