In this file photo, sailors aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JDS Hyuga (DDH 181) wave the American and Japanese flags April 4 as a sign of friendship during a pass and review with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Nicholas A. Groesch)

PEARL HARBOR — Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead praised the Navy team for its work during Operation Tomodachi in a "Bravo Zulu" message (NAVADMIN 145/11) April 27.

"The extraordinary effort exhibited by our Navy in support of Operation Tomodachi makes all who serve extremely proud," the CNO said. "The dedication shown by our Sailors in providing critical humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan on March 11 was inspirational."

Roughead said the Navy's response further highlights the close personal friendship and strong maritime partnership we have with Japan.

"The team, led by Pacific Fleet, which included the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and Forward-deployed Naval Forces sailed into an uncertain environment and worked closely with Japanese counterparts to provide critical, rapid, and lifesaving relief to the Government and people of Japan.

"The compassion demonstrated by our Sailors serving on our ships, flight crews, and forces on the ground to locate, rescue, and bring supplies and relief to the Japanese people, was extraordinary. The timely, devoted, and professional aid provided to our longtime ally epitomize that special relationship."

The CNO also highlighted the invaluable contribution of other commands. "Naval Reactors provided timely and mission essential expertise and recommendations to Navy leadership, our Japanese partners, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency," Roughead said. "Their support and advice to our forward deployed forces operating in an uncertain environment was invaluable and positively impacted the efforts at the damaged Fukushima Nuclear facility.

"Additionally, several commands and Navy support organizations worked tirelessly to assist our Sailors and families in Japan as they transitioned to and from safe havens, carefully coordinating and tracking required transportation, welcome receptions, care packages, and a host of logistical/transition support to ensure our family needs were quickly addressed."

Roughead said the resilience and vital importance of Navy families was once again clearly evident.

"The leadership and agility demonstrated at all levels in such a dynamic and challenging environment were noteworthy and enabled necessary decisions that best supported a critical world partner and our Navy Family.

"For all those involved, please pass to your staffs, assigned commands, personnel, and affected families by sincere gratitude for a job exceptionally well done. You have shown the world, yet again, the undeniable good we achieve across the globe every day."