Air Force Photos

Operation Tomodachi (2011)
Senior Airman Steven Nizbet, 320th Special Tactics Squadron pararescueman, looks for trapped survivors March 16, 2011, at Sendai Airport, Japan during Operation Tomodachi. After an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck northeastern Japan on March 11, it triggered a tsunami. The disasters killed an estimated 16,000 people and destroyed coastal villages, towns and cities in the Tohoku region. Within hours of the devastation, combat controllers opened the airport to ensure personnel and cargo could enter the country. At the peak of the operation, the Defense Department had 24,000 personnel, 190 aircraft, and 24 Navy ships supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

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Photo by: Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse |  VIRIN: 110316-F-NW653-010.JPG