ATSUGI, Japan (March 28, 2011) Brig. Gen. Craig C. Crenshaw, 3rd Marine Logistics Group commanding general, speaks with a passenger participating in the last voluntary departure flight for Department of Defense (DOD) family members from Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Vivian Blakely)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan - Joint Task Force 505 completed its 25th and final scheduled flight March 28 for Operation Pacific Passage, relocating on a volunteer basis Defense Department families stationed in designated areas of Japan affected by the tragic March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The 111 family members and 15 pets departed Naval Air Facitiy Atsugi were the last to be voluntarily moved on military contracted flights. While the number of families volunteering has shrunk to a trickle, the Operation continues and future authorized departures will be arranged through commercial travel offices.

“The personal comfort and safety of our people is always a top priority, and helping family members who volunteered to depart was a case in point,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, commander of Joint Task Force 505. “I’m extremely pround for the great teamwork of everyone involved in the ongoing effort to make Operation Pacific Passage a success.”

On March 17, the office of the under secretary of defense authorized DoD eligible family members located in selected prefectures on the island of Honshu, Japan, to voluntarily depart for designated locations of the United States and other designated safe haven locations.

To date, more than 7,400 eligible family members have temporarily relocated, along with 409 family pets.

Joint Task Force 505 is headquartered on Okinawa with a forward operating element at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo.