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31st MEU prepares to assist disaster relief in Japan

By Capt. Jennifer Giles | III Marine Expeditionary Force | April 17, 2016

OKINAWA, Japan- Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived on Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, today to assist with recovery efforts in support of the Government of Japan’s relief efforts after the island of Kyushu was hit by a series of earthquakes, causing significant damage and up to 40 deaths.

Four MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Rein.), 31st MEU departed the Philippines at 11:00am today, refueled at MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, and proceeded to MCAS Iwakuni, where they arrived at 6:30pm.

The 31st MEU has four additional MV-22B Ospreys staged at MCAS Futenma. The aircraft are on standby to provide aerial support for recovery efforts if needed.

U.S. military support is provided at the request of the Government of Japan and is in support of efforts undertaken by the Japanese Self Defense Force.

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.
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