SENDAI, Japan (March 12, 2011) An SH-60B helicopter assigned to the Chargers of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 14 from Naval Air Facility Atsugi flies over the city of Sendai to deliver more than 1,500 pounds of food to survivors of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami. The citizens of Ebina City, Japan, donated the food. (U.S. Navy photo)

ATSUGI, Japan - Helicopters assigned to the Chargers of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 14 at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, transported 1,500 pounds of rice and bread to survivors of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami Japan on March 12.

The supplies will help feed more than 2,000 people sleeping in the local gymnasium in Shiroishi.

The citizens of Ebina City, a community adjacent to Atsugi, donated the food to the community in the Miyagi Prefecture.

NAF Atsugi’s Commanding Officer Capt Eric Gardner said they were more than happy to answer the request to transport the rice and bread.

“This is one of our core capacities from the CNO’s National Maritime Strategy,” said Gardner. “We had the opportunity and America is always ready to stand up and assist our Japanese hosts.”

After various planning, coordinating and preflight meetings, the helicopters were loaded and flew north with the food for delivery.

Once the helicopters landed at the Shiroishi Baseball Field, more than a dozen people were waiting to receive the food supply.

One person waiting for the aid said it was great to get the bread and rice, because of the “unreliable supplies at the local grocery stores right now.”

HS 4 is ready to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to Japan as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi.