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Photo Information

A CH-46E helicopter with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off after bringing a survey team to the area for possible humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in support of Operation Tomodachi, March 21. The 31st MEU is ready to support its Japanese partners and to provide assistance when called upon.

Photo by Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

Marines, sailors conduct area survey before starting HA/DR operations

22 Mar 2011 | Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

Eight Marines and Sailors with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron 11 performed a beach landing survey at a possible site for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, March 21.

Relief operations are in support of Operation Tomodachi after a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan causing widespread damage.

The team included beach masters with PHIBRON-11 and surveyors with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st MEU. As the logistical element for the MEU, CLB-31 is responsible for conducting relief efforts including non-combatant evacuation operations, helicopter support team missions, and for Operation Tomodachi, can use its heavy-equipment assets to remove debris from roads and other locations.

“Yesterday's mission was vital to possible HADR missions because, as a Maritime force, the 31st MEU needs to get Marines and assets ashore, and we deploy from the sea via surface craft,” said 1st Lt. Robert Jankowski, engineer platoon commander for CLB-31. “The survey was to check the feasibility of getting the forces ashore via landing craft, so we can provide assistance where it is needed.”

The 31st MEU and PHIBRON-11 are prepared to provide aid in potential humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in support of Operation Tomodachi. The 31st MEU is ready to support its Japanese partners and to provide assistance when called upon.

31st Marine Expeditionary Unit