III MEF Marines to provide assistance in wake of earthquakes, tsunami in Japan
CH-46E helicopters with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, prepare to depart Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa bound for Naval Air Facility Atsugi on mainland Japan March 12 to provide assistance in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunami that struck Japan March 11. The helicopters will fly more than 1,000 miles over water while carrying rescue equipment and configured for the full spectrum of rescue operations to include: rescue ashore, patient transfer, casualty transfer, internal and external cargo transport and personnel transport, said Lt. Col. Damien M. Marsh, commanding officer of HMM-265. The squadron had half its assets departing from Futenma to support relief efforts within four hours of being tasked, explained Marsh. The rest of the squadron is scheduled to depart for mainland March 13, he said.