How the U.S. government is helping Japan

By Ed O'Keefe
Thursday, March 17, 2011; 7:04 AM

Dozens of nuclear energy experts have joined thousands of troops providing assistance to the Japanese government in the aftermath of last week's 9.0 earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. Here's an updated look at how federal agencies and the military are helping:

Defense Department

The U.S. military has about 50,000 personnel stationed in Japan and about 17,000 of them are involved in relief operations, the Pentagon said.

Sailors and Marines have delivered about 129,000 gallons of water and 4,200 pounds of food. Residents of the military's Misawa Air Base, Japan, are collecting clothing donations in support of their Japanese neighbors, according to the Air Force.

The Navy is using P-3 Orion aircraft to survey the damage, and the Air Force is providing an RQ-4 Global Hawk based in Guam to conduct similar flights.

The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group continues operating off the island of Honshu but has shifted north because of radiation concerns. The USS Tortuga's MH-53 heavy-lift helicopters carried about 90 Japanese Self-Defense Force vehicles and personnel to the region to assist with recovery efforts. Other U.S. ships are expected in the area by Thursday.

No U.S. bases are in the danger zone for radioactivity, and there are no plans to evacuate U.S. personnel or their families, the Pentagon said.

Energy Department

Thirty-three experts from the department's National Nuclear Security Administration are in Japan with 17,000 pounds of gear to assist Japanese nuclear experts. The teams will help assess, survey, monitor and sample areas of the country for radiation, the department said.

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