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Photo 110401-N-9950J-172
110401-N-9950J-172 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 1, 2011) Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) aboard a landing craft utility, depart the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex and the embarked 31st MEU is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)

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Photo 110401-N-9950J-012
110401-N-9950J-012 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 1, 2011) Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) aboard a landing craft utility, depart the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex and the embarked 31st MEU is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)

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Photo 110401-N-8607R-356
110401-N-8607R-356 OSHIMA, Japan (April 1, 2011) Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1651, assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) offloads the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) Marines and equipments on Oshima Island, Japan. Essex and the embarked 31st MEU is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran/Released)

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Photo 110331-N-9950J-045
110331-N-9950J-045 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 31, 2011) Sailors and Marines move supplies on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during an underway replenishment. Essex is operating off the coast of Kesennuma, in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)

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Photo 110331-N-8607R-110
110331-N-8607R-110 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 31, 2011) Col. Andrew MacMannis, commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), discusses humanitarian assistance operations with Lt. Gen. Eiji Kimizuka, commanding general of Joint Task Force Tohoko, aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex and the embarked 31st MEU is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran/Released)

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Photo 110331-N-9950J-068
110331-N-9950J-068 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 31, 2011) Machinist's Mate 1st Class Steven Ohnmess, left, and Electrician's Mate 1st Class Ronald Hill scan supplies for radiation on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during an underway replenishment. Essex is operating off the coast of Kesennuma, in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)

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Photo 110329-N-5538K-240
110329-N-5538K-240 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) A CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 262, takes off from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) to deliver humanitarian and disaster relief supplies. Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan to support Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110329-N-5538K-220
110329-N-5538K-220 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) A CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter carrying humanitarian assistance supplies takes off from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan to support Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110329-N-5538K-217
110329-N-5538K-217 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) A CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter carrying humanitarian assistance supplies takes off from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan to support Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110329-N-5538K-211
110329-N-5538K-211 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 262 prepare to take off from the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) to deliver humanitarian assistance supplies. Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan to support Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110329-N-5538K-180
110329-N-5538K-180 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) Marines load humanitarian assistance supplies into a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan to support Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110329-N-5538K-174
110329-N-5538K-174 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 29, 2011) Marines position humanitarian assistance supplies on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), is operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan to support Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110328-N-9950J-354
110328-N-9950J-354 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 28, 2011) Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Alejandra Gutierrezalba, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), donates items to be delivered to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) and distributed to residents of Japan displaced by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Essex and embarked members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)

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Photo 110328-N-9950J-326
110328-N-9950J-326 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 28, 2011) Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class John Childers, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), donates items to be delivered to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) and distributed to residents of Japan displaced by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Essex and embarked members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Johnson/Released)

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Photo 110327-N-5538K-104
110327-N-5538K-104 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2011) Capt. David Fluker, commanding officer of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), discusses ship capabilities with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Hiroyuki Kasui, commander of Escort Flotilla 1. Essex and embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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Photo 110327-N-5538K-054
110327-N-5538K-054 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2011) Capt. Bradley Lee, commander of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, discusses operational capabilities with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Hiroyuki Kasui, commander of Escort Flotilla 1, aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex and embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)

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