A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked US Air Force installations in Japan last week, but there were no reports of significant damage to them. It was the second powerful earthquake to hit Japan within one month. “We have received no reports of injury or damage to US forces or assets in Japan,” said US Pacific Command spokesman Army Maj. Matt Hasson. He added, “US forces continue to support the government and people of Japan and are positioned for sustained support.” The April 7 earthquake plunged Misawa Air Base, which was nearest to the quake’s epicenter, into darkness as off-site electrical power went down, forcing the base to run on generator power. Despite the interruption, Misawa’s 35th Fighter Wing reported for duty as normal on the following day. On March 11, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast coast, prompting a large relief effort by the Air Force and US military. Pacific Air Forces airmen had generated more than 400 aircraft missions and delivered approximately seven million pounds of cargo as of April 6 in response to the March disasters. (Misawa release) (DOD release) (Pearl Harbor-Hickam release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.