Carrier Ronald Reagan assisting Japanese relief
After sailing farther out to sea to avoid radioactivity, the U.S. carrier Ronald Reagan continues to launch aircraft to take tons of supplies ashore to Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.
Aircraft also are scouring the sea for homes and vehicles and other items swept into the ocean. Other ships from the carrier's strike group, including the Preble and Chancellorsville, are assisting the relief effort. The carrier strike group is based in San Diego.
Ships carrying the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, including Marines from Camp Pendleton, are expected within hours on the west coast of Honshu island. Military brass decided to send the ships to the west side to avoid radioactivity on the east side of the island.
The force will await orders on how it can best assist the the relief effort. The unit includes Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: A Japanese home swept to sea, as viewed from a helicopter that launched from the carrier Ronald Reagan. Credit: U.S. Navy.