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Yokota aids Japan with earthquake relief

A C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130 Hercules taxis down the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130 Hercules taxis down the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- The 374th Airlift Wing sent two C-130 Hercules aircraft and aircrew to the Kyushu region April 18, supporting the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas.

The Yokota aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido, to Kyushu, improving the capabilities of ground relief efforts in the area. Each C-130 can load up to 42,000 pounds of cargo.

"These missions are perfect examples of why we are located where we are and what we train for every day," said Lt. Col. John Kerr, the 36th Airlift Squadron director of operations. "Our airlifters are eager to show their support for their friends and neighbors in Japan following this tragedy."

The 374th AW, as the primary airlift hub in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, has experience responding to natural disasters. In March 2011, the 374th AW responded to the 9.0 earthquake near Sendai, Japan, providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief to stricken areas. In 2013, the wing sent five C-130s to the Philippines to offload cargo and airlift evacuees seeking safe haven in Manila, and in 2015, the 374th AW also sent support to Nepal in response to the Gorkha earthquake.

"I would like to express my deepest condolences on behalf of the men and women of the 374th Airlift Wing," said Col. Douglas DeLaMater, the 374th AW commander. "We will continue to support the relief efforts in Kumamoto in whatever way the Government of Japan requests. This is a tragic event, but I am confident in the resolve of the people of Japan."

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