PACIFIC OCEAN - USS McCampbell (DDG 85) continued Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief operations off the east coast of the Iwate Prefecture March 19.
A week after Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the crew of McCampbell worked to provide as much assistance as possible to the Japanese stranded on shore.
Along the shoreline, north of Sendai, the Japanese were left with little to no shelter and food. There was no power, and the area was still inaccessible by vehicle. Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 51 embarked on board McCampbell patrolled the shoreline and helped discern where supplies were most needed. The squadron also identified multiple landing zones helping to identify new epicenters of survivors that had not yet received assistance.
McCampbell Sailors and embarked crew members worked to have loads of food and supplies leave the ship each day after the earthquake struck. Despite a lack of replenishment, the crew was committed to continuing their delivery of supplies to the Japanese on shore. Using donated supplies and money from the crew to purchase additional items from the ship’s store, personnel continued efforts to resupply stranded Japanese villagers with critical food, warm clothes, blankets, and hygiene items.
Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class (SW) Jason O’lone from Jacksonsville, Fl. shared the mentality of the entire crew by saying, “It is not about us. It feels good to give up something to help others in need.”
Over the past week McCampbell has been able to send 50 bundles of blankets, 50 bundles of clothes and shoes, over 350 bottles of water, and over $1000 in nonperishable food items, drinks, clothes, and toiletries.
“I hope that my donated personal belongings are keeping somebody warm out there,” said Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Tanner Iszler of Belgrade, Mt.
USS McCampbell is one of seven Arleigh Burke-class destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen and is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet in support of Operation Tomodachi.