This is [forwarded] from the CO of Marine Corps Air Station, Futemna, Okinawa, Colonel Dale Smith.
Quick note to let you know what’s happening and a sincere “thanks” for your note of concern…it’s not taken for granted and appreciated greatly.
We worked all weekend…(Air Station is normally limited hours on Saturday’s, closed Sunday’s)…open 24/7 now in support…our guys/gals will be fairly ragged soon.
MEF pushed 8 Phrogs and 10 or more C-130s North to Iwakuni over the weekend. A Joint Task Force (JTF) was established by USFJ…led by Army 3-star; his deputy is the Division’s CG…(our guy), a 2-star select.
31st MEU is inbound…MEB has moved forward as well…JTF will attempt to establish its HQ at Sendai Airport once they can get in there and clear some things….(but a third reactor just blew, not sure how close they get just now). Devastation truly is “atomic equivalent” in nature….entire villages (cities)..gone, “everyone” within their populations (in some cases 10,000)…missing or dead. Damage isn’t isolated to just Sendai area….over 10 cities we’re taken “out”….gone, off the map, along with their people. I cannot write this without tears…it’s that bad.
Helos from Oki, Korea, supporting…with as many fixed-wing as possible as well…all branches of service. Flew all weekend myself, along with our other OSA aircraft (3 jets, 1 C-12 from Oki), Two C-12s from Iwakuni, getting people up to Yokota (Tokyo area), Iwakuni, Atsugi, etc…. Most will move forward into the disaster area when able to support what will no doubt be a very long recovery process and HADR ops. My XO is flying today…(I was scheduled to, but was pulled off the sched to support other ops). XO is flying the Generals over the latest reactor explosion area…(above what’s now becoming a nuclear cloud). USS Ronald Regan floated through the “cloud” yesterday and became contaminated to a degree. Helo’s are doing the same, and have to be “decon’d” upon returning to base….rescuers and victims are becoming “exposed” to the radiation, and unfortunately for now, the end isn’t in sight as to how bad the nuclear situation will get.
Thanks again Horn….I’ll keep you updated when I can. Appreciate the prayers for all….(wx’s been good, but rain and snow are moving into today up there, as if the people weren’t suffering enough). At times like this, all one can do is their best, and remember, God has a plan we sometimes don’t understand, but have to trust, He’s in control.