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Col Lott. The following day, 21 March


2011, Colonel Toth was designated as the Joint Force Special Operations Component Commander (JFSOCC) by CDR USPACOM. Additionally, the Joint Support Force Commander, ADM Walsh identified JFSOCC as the sup- ported commander for all JSF HA/DR operations at Sendai IAP and placed TF Fuji and Logistics Task Force 35 (LTF 35) in direct support of the JFSOCC. On 22 March, Colonel Rubino (USMC) and his 35th Logistics Command Element arrived and established the Sendai IAP LSA. At the peak of operations, nearly 270 airmen, soldiers, sailors, and marines were working side by side with over 100 Japanese civilians and military person- nel to operate and restore the airport. Key to the success of operations


at Sendai IAP was the creation of a Bilateral Crisis Action Team (BCAT) for Sendai IAP. This team was led by Colonel Makoto Kasamatsu (JGSDF), the Bilateral Crisis Action Team (BCAT) Commander of Sendai IAP and Colonel Lott, the US Commander of Sendai IAP. Together, Col Kasamatsu, the four US commanders (Lott, Rubino, Kozenieski, and Townsend) along with members of the Japanese Civil Aeronautics Board and Sendai Airport Authority held daily bilateral coordination meetings. The meetings scheduled daily activities of US and Japanese personnel, set milestones and tracked progress towards transition- ing full control of the airport back to the Sendai Airport Authority and re-opening the airport to commercial traffic. Through careful planning and close


cooperation of this bilateral team, air traffic control services were transferred from Air Force combat controllers on 1 April 2011. On 3 April 2011, the 353 SOG began repositioning personnel from Sendai IAP to Yokota AB. Two days later, Japan Self Defense Force Lieutenant General Eiji Kimisuka, Commanding General of Joint Task Force Tohuku, visited Sendai IAP and oversaw the final transfer of airport operations from US military personnel led by Colonel Lott to the Sendai Airport Authority. As Sendai IAP opened on 6 April 2011, the airport returned to the state it was on 11 March – fully operated


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by the people of Japan. At 8am on 13 April 2011, the first commercial aircraft landed at Sendai IAP since the tsunami on 11 March 2011. By the 25th of July, domestic schedules had normalized and international air travel had resumed at Sendai IAP. From 11 March 2011 to 4 April


2011, the 353 SOG simultaneously operated one JFSOC and three JSOACs at Kadena, Daegu and Yokota to execute command and control of 4 x MC-130Ps, 3 x MC-130Hs, and 1 x PC-12. Together the group flew 161 humanitarian relief missions, logging 245 flight hours in support of Operation Tomodachi. In all, the group’s aircrews transported over 511 relief personnel, 878,300 pounds of relief supplies and transferred 185,000 pounds of fuel into the center of the


crisis. Additionally, 353 SOG personnel conducted search and rescue missions; provided all communications support to the USMC’s Logistics Command Element at Yamagata AB; conducted medical surveys of Tohuku University Hospital; and fueled the USMC’s Helicopter Expedient Refueling System to establish a FARP site at Yamagata Airport. Finally, members of the 353 SOG at Sendai IAP led over 270 US airmen, soldiers, sailors, and marines to clear the airfield and manage logis- tics while controlling over 250 coalition aircraft operating at Sendai IAP. Their efforts enabled the delivery of over 517 relief personnel, 2.5 million pounds of relief supplies and over 15,000 gallons of fuel into Sendai IAP and restored hope to the people of Japan.


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