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survey for Matsushima AB. By 0700, his combat control team had surveyed the runway and established air traffic control services. The second team led by Colonel Lott and Major Traxler linked up with their JASDF escort and departed in a convoy to Sendai IAP. Upon arrival at Sendai Airport at


0830L, Colonel Lott (Senior US Official at Sendai IAP) and his team were pleasantly surprised to find Japanese construction crews conducting recov- ery operations on the airfield. Using the assistance of his JASDF escort, Colonel Lott was able to identify Mr Testsuro Ikeda as the senior Japanese official on the airport. Mr Ikeda was the senior planning officer for Airport Safety Engineering, Airport Department, Civil Aeronautics Board who was sent to provide an assessment of the airfield’s damage. Colonel Lott discussed our CONOP to re-open Sendai IAP for use as a hub for humanitarian relief opera- tions. Following their discussions, Mr Ikeda coordinated approval through the CAB to land an MC-130 at the airport and also coordinated for removal of large debris and vehicles from the first 5,000 feet of the main runway. At approximately 0930L, less


than one hour after arrival, Japanese construction workers and 353 SOG per- sonnel completed clearing large debris from the first 5,000 feet of runway 27. At 1000L combat controllers had estab- lished air traffic control communications and declared Sendai IAP open for C-130 operations. While the runway was being


cleared, Colonel Lott and Mr Ikeda developed a list of immediate humani- tarian relief supplies. Mr Ikeda stated that his most urgent need was for die- sel and gasoline. He stated that he would not be able to power his genera- tors or vehicles being used for recovery more than 24 hours without additional fuel. He also requested drinking water, generators, and lighting for night opera- tions. Colonel Lott relayed the list of requirements back through the JSOAC who relayed the request for assistance to USAID representatives and the J4. By 1000L the initial pallets of water,


food, and blankets for Matsushima were delivered planeside and by 1100L,


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An MC-130H Combat Talon II lands March 16, 2011, at Sendai Airport, Japan. This is the first fixed-wing aircraft to land at the airport since an earthquake and tsunami crippled much of the Japanese eastern seaboard March 11.


Captain Stewart’s crew (Jackal 17) had departed Yokota for their second trip to Matsushima AB. At 1158L Jackal 17 landed, following an IMC SCA, to deliver the first HA/DR supplies into Matsushima AB since the tsunami on 11 March 2011. After a short time on the ground Jackal 17 departed for Yokota arriving at 1400L, mission complete. Soon after arriving at Yokota AB


from Daegu AB, one MC-130H flown by Maj Helton’s crew (Goose 56) was loaded with a 10K forklift required to download cargo at Sendai IAP. At 1430L Colonel Toth and Goose 56 departed Yokota AB for Sendai IAP. At 1500L, 10 hours and 15 minutes after the mission began, Goose 56 becomes the first air- craft since the tsunami to land at Sendai IAP. The crew quickly downloaded the


10K forklift and Colonel Toth, and then departed for Daegu AB, ROK arriving at 2110L, mission complete. While on the ground, Colonel Toth


linked up with Colonel Lott and Mr Ikeda to discuss setting up a logistics hub for USFJ humanitarian relief opera- tions at Sendai IAP. The three discussed a plan for dividing the responsibilities of controlling and recovering the airfield. Mr Ikeda stated that his primary focus was on cleanup operations and then gave Colonel Toth and Colonel Lott priorities for US forces. Those priori- ties were: (1) maintain positive control of US aircraft operating at Sendai IAP and physical control of US personnel operating on the airfield; (2) coordinate all logistics requirements for HA/DR operations; (3) assist with clean up when


Fall 2011 │ AIR COMMANDO JOURNAL │ 41


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