Update, March 13
U.S. 7th Fleet ships and aircraft are providing assistance to Japan following the devastating earthquake that occurred on March 11.
The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, which includes the cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), the destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) and the combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10), arrived near the east coast of Honshu today (March 13, local). It flew several H-60 helicopter missions today conducting surveys of the at-sea debris field, and ashore delivering four drops of humanitarian supplies. Helicopters are currently conducting an evacuation of 600 people from the city of Takata. In the coming days, USS Ronald Reagan will serve as an afloat platform for refueling helicopters from the Japan Self Defense Force, Japan Coast Guard, fire and police and other civilian authorities involved in rescue and recovery efforts ashore.
The destroyers USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) are at sea east of Miyagi Prefecture assisting Japanese authorities with providing at-sea search and rescue and recovery operations. An additional destroyer, USS Mustin (DDG 89), departed Yokosuka today to assist as well.
USS Tortuga (LSD 46) onloaded two heavy-lift MH-53 helicopters off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, last night (March 12 local). The ship is proceeding to Otaru on the island of Hokkaido where it will onload 700 Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel, and deliver them to Akita, on the northwest corner of Honshu.
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), USS Essex (LHD 2), with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and USS Germantown (LSD 42) are transiting to the area from Southeast Asia. They are expected to begin arriving March 16.
U.S. Navy P-3 "Orion" aircraft from VP-4 are flying missions to survey and assess the debris field at sea.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Japan during this difficult time.