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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Due to last week’s earthquake in Japan and the turbulent aftermath, the Air Force is suspending all movement of forces into or out of Misawa and Yokota air bases until further notice, the Air Force has announced.

In addition, movement related to temporary duty, commonly referred to as TDY, has also stopped at Misawa, according to a statement from the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

The earthquake has “resulted in restricted airflow and support services.” The advisory is from the personnel center’s Directorate of Air and Space Expeditionary Forces Operations, which plays a central role in the mobilization of forces and other support for natural disasters, contingencies other emergency situations.

Commanders at both bases, the statement reads, made this determination “based on (the) recent earthquake.” The advisories remain in effect until further notice, though the emphasis for now is on personnel due to arrive and/or report this month.

“They want to minimize any unnecessary movement,” said Capt. Lesley Lilly, a spokeswoman for the personnel center.

The stop movement order for Yokota came Monday, while Misawa’s was issued Saturday. The primary focus was on halting inbound personnel undergoing a permanent changes of station, particularly those who have not yet out-processed from their current duty station.

Those individuals already in the PCS pipeline have additional matters to consider, such as en route leave and limitations within the stop movement area. For more information, contact the Air Force Personnel Center at 665-3815(2020) DSN; or civilian at 210-565-3815 (2020).


Situated 400 miles north of Tokyo, Misawa Air Base is a staging point for aircraft taking part in search and rescue operations from Friday’s magnitude-9.0 earthquake near Sendai on the northeast coast. There are about 5,500 U.S. military and civilian personnel assigned to Misawa, a fighter jet base.

Yokota Air Base is northwest of Tokyo, the closest U.S. military installation to the metropolis. The base is the principal airlift hub for U.S. forces in the hemisphere with a population of roughly 14,000.


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