by Mindy Aguon
Guam - One thousand sailors and aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing 5 are on Guam for an indefinite period as part of the Navy's force posture adjustment for Operation Tomodachi. Joint Region Marianas Spokesperson Lieutenant Jodie Cornell confirms aircraft have been arriving at Andersen Air Force Base since Thursday.
The aircraft, including F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, have been sent from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan temporarily in order to provide ramp space for other aircraft needed to support relief efforts.
The CVW-5 is part of the George Washington carrier Strike group. Lieutenant Cornell adds the aircraft relocated to Guam will be ready to respond to support operations and contingencies throughout the Western Pacific region. The strike group commander, Rear Admiral Dan Cloyd, expressed his gratitude for the people of Guam welcoming the group to the island.
He said, "Your truly inspiring Hafa Adai spirit is appreciated more than mere words can ever convey." Lt. Cornell said the air wing's SH-60 Seahawk helicopters and C-2 Greyhound aircraft will remain in Japan supporting U.S. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations in support of the Government of Japan.
The arrival of the sailors is in addition to the military dependents who choose voluntary departures from Yokoto Air Base. As we reported US Forces Japan confirmed with KUAM that those voluntary departures will be brought to Guam, not Korea as was stated on Thursday. It's unclear how many dependents will come through Guam but the first flights are expected to arrive this weekend.
The Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association has been working with military officials on arranging accommodations for the military personnel and the dependents who come to Guam.