Northcom Operation Helps Families Relocating From Japan

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., March 23, 2011 — U.S. North­ern Com­mand is lead­ing “Pacif­ic Pas­sage,” an oper­a­tion for the vol­un­tary return of mil­i­tary fam­i­ly mem­bers from Japan in the after­math of the dead­ly March 11 earth­quake and tsuna­mi.
North­com is the joint com­bat­ant com­mand formed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, ter­ror­ist attacks to pro­vide home­land defense and defense sup­port of civ­il author­i­ties.

U.S. Army North defense coor­di­nat­ing ele­ments led by a defense coor­di­nat­ing offi­cer in Fed­er­al Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency Regions 9 and 10 have estab­lished joint recep­tion coor­di­na­tion cen­ters, work close­ly with fed­er­al, state, trib­al and local offi­cials to deter­mine unique Defense Depart­ment capa­bil­i­ties that may be need­ed to assist civ­il authorities. 

Arrival loca­tions have been estab­lished at Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port in Wash­ing­ton state and at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The arriv­ing fam­i­lies, includ­ing their pets, are being met by mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tives from U.S. Army North, who help them with fol­low-on arrange­ments such as tem­po­rary lodg­ing, food and oth­er sup­port requirements. 

Air Forces Northern’s nation­al secu­ri­ty emer­gency pre­pared­ness direc­torate has deployed two emer­gency pre­pared­ness liai­son offi­cers to the Seat­tle-Taco­ma air­port and is ready to sup­port with oth­ers if need­ed, offi­cials said. Joint recep­tion coor­di­na­tion cen­ters have been set up at both locations. 

Northcom’s Stand­ing Joint Force Head­quar­ters is on stand­by to estab­lish an addi­tion­al arrival loca­tion, as nec­es­sary, offi­cials said. 

More infor­ma­tion on Pacif­ic Pas­sage and use­ful infor­ma­tion for return­ing fam­i­ly mem­bers is avail­able at

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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