A Heartfelt Thank You

Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Takeaki Matsumoto thanked airmen from the 353rd Special Operation Group at Kadena AB, Japan, and all other US military personnel stationed on Okinawa for their role in helping Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March. Matsumoto presented the group with a small plaque as a token of gratitude at a ceremony during his visit to Okinawa. “[E]fforts of the US military in support of Operation Tomodachi strengthened the people-to-people bond between the citizens of Japan and the United States,” he said May 28. Among their contributions, members of the 353rd SOG played a pivotal role in re-opening Sendai airport in northeastern Japan just days after the disaster and then helped to manage air operations there to enable the flow of relief supplies and personnel. (Camp Foster report by TSgt. Aaron Cram)