SASEBO, Japan - A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey transported medical personnel and evacuated a simulated patient from a remote island during Sasebo's annual emergency drill, Sept. 1.
The participation of the Osprey demonstrated expanded capabilities that the U.S. military can contribute to assist Japan in the event of a disaster.
Two Ospreys were flown from the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group operating in the vicinity of Okinawa to Sasebo to participate in the drill at the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force's Camp Ainoura.
"Launching from a sea-base to Sasebo for this drill demonstrates the dynamic capability of the U.S. Navy-U.S. Marine Corps team to assist Japanese civilian populations and work alongside our Japan self defense force counterparts in the event of a disaster," said Capt. Robert Hall, deputy commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. "Because our ships are based in Sasebo, we enjoy a strong tie with the community and are thankful for this opportunity to increase our collective responsiveness in an emergency."
At Camp Ainoura, Marines from the Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31 off-loaded a Tactical Water Purification System (TWPS) to demonstrate its capability to produce purified water, an important capability in disaster response.
Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo participates in the drill annually with medical and firefighting services and is committed to assisting the city in the event of a real emergency. This was the first time that capability was brought from afloat to further assist simulated disaster relief effort.
The Bonhomme Richard ESG and 31st MEU are currently conducting Amphibious Integration Training in the vicinity of Okinawa.
The Bonhomme Richard ESG consists of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and USS Germantown (LSD 42). The 31st MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 Reinforced, Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 542.