Yokota aids Japan with earthquake relief

A C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130 Hercules taxis down the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130 Hercules taxis down the flightline at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Atkinson, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, looks out the back of a C-130 Hercules after dropping off two Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicles and four JGSDF members at Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, April 18, 2016. The island of Kyushu was hit by a devastating earthquake April 16, 2016, and U.S. Forces Japan assisted the Government of Japan relief efforts by airlifting supplies, equipment and personnel to the affected areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Atkinson, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, looks out the back of a C-130 Hercules after dropping off two Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicles and four JGSDF members at Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, April 18, 2016. The island of Kyushu was hit by a devastating earthquake April 16, 2016, and U.S. Forces Japan assisted the Government of Japan relief efforts by airlifting supplies, equipment and personnel to the affected areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dustin Brown, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, marshals a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle out of a C-130 Hercules while Japan Air Self-Defense Force members look on at Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, April 18, 2016. Yokota Air Base assisted the Government of Japan by airlifting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to Kumamoto Prefecture in response to recent earthquakes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dustin Brown, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, marshals a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle out of a C-130 Hercules while Japan Air Self-Defense Force members look on at Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, April 18, 2016. Yokota Air Base assisted the Government of Japan by airlifting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to Kumamoto Prefecture in response to recent earthquakes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dustin Brown, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, marshals a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle into a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. Two C-130s from Yokota Air Base, Japan picked up four vehicles and eight JGSDF members, airlifting them to Kumamoto Prefecture to assist in disaster relief following a series of earthquakes that struck Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dustin Brown, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, marshals a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle into a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. Two C-130s from Yokota Air Base, Japan picked up four vehicles and eight JGSDF members, airlifting them to Kumamoto Prefecture to assist in disaster relief following a series of earthquakes that struck Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force sits in a vehicle awaiting instructions at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. Members of the 374th Airlift Wing traveled to Hokkaido and airlifted four vehicles and eight JGSDF personnel to Kumamoto Prefecture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force sits in a vehicle awaiting instructions at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. Members of the 374th Airlift Wing traveled to Hokkaido and airlifted four vehicles and eight JGSDF personnel to Kumamoto Prefecture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Atkinson, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, gives a thumbs up to the driver of a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle as it is loaded on a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. On April 14 and again on April 16, Japan was struck by devastating earthquakes. The Government of Japan requested the assistance of U.S. Forces Japan, and the 374th Airlift Wing is supporting by transporting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to Kumamoto prefecture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Atkinson, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, gives a thumbs up to the driver of a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle as it is loaded on a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. On April 14 and again on April 16, Japan was struck by devastating earthquakes. The Government of Japan requested the assistance of U.S. Forces Japan, and the 374th Airlift Wing is supporting by transporting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to Kumamoto prefecture. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Thompson, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, uses a chain to strap down a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle to a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing assisted the Government of Japan by airlifting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to the island of Kyushu in response of the recent earthquakes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Thompson, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, uses a chain to strap down a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle to a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing assisted the Government of Japan by airlifting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to the island of Kyushu in response of the recent earthquakes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Ihnat, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist, checks two chains that secure a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle to a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The vehicles were being transported from Hokkaido to the island of Kyushu to assist in disaster relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Ihnat, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist, checks two chains that secure a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle to a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The vehicles were being transported from Hokkaido to the island of Kyushu to assist in disaster relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 36th Airlift Squadron lowers a ramp on the back of a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. U.S. forces are assisting the Government of Japan by transporting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to Kumamoto Prefecture, the epicenter of a recent earthquake that devastated the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)
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A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 36th Airlift Squadron lowers a ramp on the back of a C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. U.S. forces are assisting the Government of Japan by transporting vehicles and personnel from Hokkaido to Kumamoto Prefecture, the epicenter of a recent earthquake that devastated the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Christopher Bergstrom (left), 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist, speaks to a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force member at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing airlifted vehicles and personnel to the island of Kyushu after it was struck by a devastating earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Christopher Bergstrom (left), 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist, speaks to a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force member at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing airlifted vehicles and personnel to the island of Kyushu after it was struck by a devastating earthquake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua McDonald, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist, signals to Staff Sgt. Macer Allen, 374 LRS air transportation specialist, to move a vehicle forward at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. After the island of Kyushu was struck by a devastating earthquake, the Government of Japan requested U.S. Forces Japan to assist in the transportation of relief personnel and equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua McDonald, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation specialist, signals to Staff Sgt. Macer Allen, 374 LRS air transportation specialist, to move a vehicle forward at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. After the island of Kyushu was struck by a devastating earthquake, the Government of Japan requested U.S. Forces Japan to assist in the transportation of relief personnel and equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle sits strapped down in a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. Two C-130s from Yokota Air Base, Japan picked up four vehicles and eight JGSDF members and flew them to the island of Kyushu to assist in disaster relief operations following a series of earthquakes that struck Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle sits strapped down in a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. Two C-130s from Yokota Air Base, Japan picked up four vehicles and eight JGSDF members and flew them to the island of Kyushu to assist in disaster relief operations following a series of earthquakes that struck Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Washburn/Released)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the Government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)
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A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the Government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the Government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)
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A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 18, 2016. The 374th Airlift Wing sent two aircraft in support of the Government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in the Kyushu region recently. The aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido to Kyushu. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 374th Airlift Wing sent two C-130 Hercules aircraft and aircrew to the Kyushu region April 18, supporting the government of Japan in their relief efforts for the series of earthquakes that took place in Kumamoto Prefecture and surrounding areas.

The Yokota aircraft transported heavy vehicles and personnel from Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido, to Kyushu, improving the capabilities of ground relief efforts in the area. Each C-130 can load up to 42,000 pounds of cargo.

"These missions are perfect examples of why we are located where we are and what we train for every day," said Lt. Col. John Kerr, the 36th Airlift Squadron director of operations. "Our airlifters are eager to show their support for their friends and neighbors in Japan following this tragedy."

The 374th AW, as the primary airlift hub in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, has experience responding to natural disasters. In March 2011, the 374th AW responded to the 9.0 earthquake near Sendai, Japan, providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief to stricken areas. In 2013, the wing sent five C-130s to the Philippines to offload cargo and airlift evacuees seeking safe haven in Manila, and in 2015, the 374th AW also sent support to Nepal in response to the Gorkha earthquake.

"I would like to express my deepest condolences on behalf of the men and women of the 374th Airlift Wing," said Col. Douglas DeLaMater, the 374th AW commander. "We will continue to support the relief efforts in Kumamoto in whatever way the Government of Japan requests. This is a tragic event, but I am confident in the resolve of the people of Japan."