Eight Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys have been tasked in assist relief efforts following two severe earthquakes that struck southern Japan over the weekend, the Marine Corps said in a Monday release.
Four of the tilt-rotors assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived at Marine Corps Air Base Iwakuni, Jpan.
“We understand that the necessity of speed is critical in a situation like this so we placed our forces in the best position to provide support as needed,” said Col. Romin Dasmalchi, the commanding officer of the Okinawa-based 31st MEU said in the statement. “The Japanese government is more than capable of providing relief, but we don’t want to miss an opportunity to provide support if needed to the Japanese citizens affected by the earthquake.”
Four other Ospreys had arrived late last week to assist in the relief effort following two earthquakes that struck near the island of Kyushu on Thursday and Saturday.
As of Monday, the results of the two earthquakes have killed more than 40, injured about a 1,000 and displaced almost 100,000, according to a report in the Associated Press.
In addition to the Ospreys, the U.S. Air Force 374th Airlift Wing sent two C-130s from Yokota Air Base to assist Japanese authorities.
Officials with U.S. Pacific Fleet told USNI News said – as of Monday afternoon – no surface ships had been sent for the relief mission.
The U.S. relief effort has been focused on providing “bread, ready-to-eat food and other emergency supplies,” to some of the remotest parts hit by the quake.