RAAF assistance following 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

14 Mar 2011

A C-17A Globemaster from No 36 Squadron arrived in the early hours at Yokota Airbase, west of Tokyo in Japan, bringing an Emergency Services Task Force (made up of police, fire and ambulance personnel from NSW, ACT and Queensland) to help with urban search and rescue work following a powerful earthquake and devastating tsunami on 11 March. The aircraft remained in Japan for two weeks before returning on 25 March; during that period it undertook 23 sorties, providing intra-country airlift of vital stores and equipment. More than 450 tonnes of cargo, including 41 vehicles and 135 passengers, was moved to disaster areas throughout Japan. Two additional C-17s also undertook a mission from Australia, carrying a remotely operated water cannon system (supplied by the Bechtel corporation at the request of the United States) to assist with efforts to contain radiation leakage at a damaged nuclear reactor at Fukushima.

Related aircraft

  • Globemaster