Just read this morning that one aircraft carrier is already in Japan, and a second is en-route.
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2011 – The United States is prepared to help Japan deal with the aftermath of the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck today “in any way we possibly can,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in Bahrain.
“I’ve been kept informed all day long about the tsunami in Japan, the earthquake and tsunami,” said Gates, who is on a trip through the Middle East and Europe. “As best we can tell, all of our people are OK, [and] our ships and military facilities are all in pretty good shape.”
The secretary said that although Japan is a very sophisticated country, “this is a huge disaster and we will do … anything we are asked to do to help out.”
“Japan is, of course, one of our strongest and closest allies and this morning I spoke with Prime Minister [Naoto] Kan,” Obama said during a news conference here. “On behalf of the American people, I conveyed our deepest condolences especially to the victims and their families, and I offered our Japanese friends whatever assistance is needed.”
Obama received a briefing this morning in the Oval Office on the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami warnings across the Pacific from several senior U.S. government officials.
“We currently have an aircraft carrier in Japan and another is on its way,” he said at the news conference. “We also have a ship en route to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed.”
On his Twitter feed this morning, Noriyuki Shikata, deputy cabinet secretary for public relations and director of global communications at the Japanese prime minister’s office, said the Japanese government requested U.S. forces in Japan to support efforts to rescue people and to provide oil and medical aid via the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, adding his thanks to the U.S. government.
Navy Units Prepare to Support Tsunami-Damaged Areas
From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) — U.S. Pacific Fleet ships in the Western Pacific were converging on Japan to be in the best position to help those in areas damaged by the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
They include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), which departed Southern California waters on March 5 for a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Reagan is the flagship of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, which includes USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Preble (DDG 88). All three ships were headed to Honshu’s east coast. It is too early to say what they will be tasked with once they arrive.