17 March, 2011


There is a lot of uncertainty and hard decisions to be made for many of my friends a lot that I consider Family still in Japan at this time. They are being offered a chance to Voluntarily evacuate Japan due to the Nuclear Reactor. There current living situation has been one of concern and great compassion. Organizing food and clothing drives for Japanese locals in areas where it is needed as well as the school had the children involved by asking them to bring in their change for Operation Tomodachi Junior. Then there were the warnings to stay indoors as much as possible and families would go outside when necessary and then come in and clean up and wash their clothes daily due to the Nuclear Reactor leak.

This message was posted and if you have any family aboard NAF Atsugi you are already aware of this.
Safe travels to my friends and everyone who decides to leave NAF Atsugi all of you are in my thoughts along with all of my friends in Japan who are local nationals and will be staying. I pray for your safety and wish you the best if you need anything from me just ask. <3 to all.

Voluntary Departure of Dependents   To all NAF Atsugi Residents,   Due to the uncertainty regarding the fate of the Fukushima Nuclear Facility following last Friday's earthquake and tsunami, the President of the United States has just announced that US military forces in Japan are now authorized to conduct a military-assisted voluntary departure of dependents from Northeast Japan, including the facilities within the Kanto Plain. What does that mean for you living here on Naval Air Facility Atsugi? It means that a voluntary evacuation of SOFA-sponsored families will commence, likely starting by Friday afternoon 18 March. Flights will likely depart from Atsugi to military bases in Korea for further transfer to other areas which are to be determined at this time. We will also transport voluntary evacuees from Camp Zama. Attached is the US Embassy statement containing further information.   I know there are some people on base who are panicking or scared. Please remain calm and make sure your families are ready to move. Stay in your homes and we will be informing you what to do on the Base Information Channel, the NAF Atsugi webpage, and Facebook page. This is not the time to panic. This is a time to help each other to orderly move our families to ensure their safety. Aircraft should be landing at NAF Atsugi within 24 hours.   CVW-5 Sailors continue to be fully engaged in humanitarian aid to help our host nation of Japan. Carrier Air Wing FIVE aircraft will depart today to make ramp space for incoming humanitarian relief flights and the evacuation flights. The radiation levels at NAF Atsugi are less today, 17 March then they were two days ago.   What are you authorized to take with you? Please review the Non-combatant Evacuation Checklist on the NAF Atsugi website for guidance as to what to pack. Remember, Korea is cold this time of the year, so prepare and dress accordingly. I would pack for 3-5 days. NAF Atsugi Branch Health Clinic will remain open through the night to refill necessary prescriptions. Legal will also remain open for Power of Attorney processing. We are requesting further guidance from CNFJ as to procedures for pets, baggage weights, etc, that we hope to have shortly.   This is going to be a high capacity operation. . The order of departure is women and children first. . Non-essential personnel . Essential personnel . And finally me We will likely prioritize families by the age of their children, with infants and pregnancies first, toddlers second, grade schoolers, and then teenagers.   The US Marine Corps III MEF will be the supported Commander in this operation and that team will be flying in soonest to begin the orderly voluntary evacuation process.   NAF Atsugi has turned into the logistical hub in support of operation TOMODACHI. Our Sailors have done a great job supporting units from around the Pacific and the U.S. Now is the time for us to care of their families.   There was an Ombudsman Assembly meeting scheduled for tonight. We will hold that meeting at 1800 in the Little Theater, across from SLES. If you have questions, please get them to your command ombudsman and we will have support personnel there to answer questions.   Once again, please stay calm and prepare your families for travel. Thank you.  

 V/R, CAPT Eric "Biff" Gardner Commanding Officer Naval Air Facility Atsugi

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