OFUNATO, Japan (NNS) -- Service members from Misawa Air Base played a vital role in the recovery effort in Ofunato, Japan, March 14 after a devastating earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country's eastern coastline.
Airmen from the 35th Fighter Wing provided logistic support and transportation to the port town of Ofunato for search and rescue teams from Los Angeles County, Fairfax County, Va., and the United Kingdom.
After the teams arrived in Misawa, the base's Airmen immediately began offloading, palletizing and loading supplies and rescue equipment onto flatbed trucks. Twenty-three service members provided transport for the rescue crews and equipment to the port town that lies about 100 miles south of Misawa.
Air Force Senior Airman Alan Early, from the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, said he was grateful for the opportunity to volunteer and help out.
"I wanted to take the opportunity to give back to people in need and further strengthen the friendship between Japan and America," said Early.
After arriving in Ofunato, Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Mitchel said the damage he saw was surreal.
"I've been through typhoons before and seen devastation, but nothing on this level," said Mitchel. "We're here and to offer whatever assistance we can."
Mitchel added that the people of Japan seemed genuinely grateful for our assistance.
"When we left Misawa Air Base, people were lining the streets bowing at our convoy - some were even crying," said Mitchel.
For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.
For more news from U.S. Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan, visit www.navy.mil/local/nafmisawa/.