31st MEU ends support to earthquake relief efforts

25 Apr 2016 | 1st Lt. Karoline Foote The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines and MV-22 Ospreys with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit ended operations today in support of Joint Task Force Chinzei, led by the Japanese Self-Defense Force. United States Forces, Japan, announced today the end of direct U.S. airlift support to Government of Japan earthquake relief efforts in the Kumamoto, Japan, area.

The need for rapid airlift of supplies by U.S. MV-22s diminished as the recovery progressed and repairs were made to the area’s infrastructure. U.S. Forces, Japan, will continue to work closely with the Government of Japan to respond to any emerging needs during the coordinated transition and retrograde of U.S. military capabilities.

This announcement concludes five days of support operations by 31st MEU beginning with the arrival of the first MEU aircraft on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 17, 2016 and the first mission April 18, 2016. Over the course of their missions, eight MV-22 Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st MEU transported a total of 82,700 pounds of relief supplies for distribution to earthquake victims.

The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific area. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU and remains the Marine Corps’ force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Media queries concerning the 31st MEU’s participation in the recovery efforts may be directed to Capt. Jennifer Giles, 31st MEU Public Affairs Officer at jennifer.giles@usmc.mil.