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Two III MEF KC-130s based at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Japan flew forklifts, life support systems and personnel to Yamagata Airfield, which has been chosen as a site for a Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP), according to a Marine Corps press release.

Another flight is scheduled to depart this evening with a Helicopter Expedient Refueling System (HERS). The FARP and HERS allows aircraft to quickly refuel and maintain continuous operations, which greatly increases the ability of U.S. and Japanese helicopters to provide fast relief to disaster-stricken areas.

Additional FARP sites have been identified in Sendai and Hanamaki to increase the flexibility of U.S. and Japanese relief efforts, and planning efforts are underway to establish FARPs at these airfields as soon as possible, the release stated.

The Marine Corps command element has been established in mainland Japan, and is responsible for coordinating Marine Corps relief efforts with U.S. Forces Japan, the lead U.S. military command coordinating relief efforts with the Government of Japan, and the Japan Self-Defense Force. The command element is conducting planning for the establishment of a Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (HACC) to supervise relief efforts.

From staff reports


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