By Tina C. Stillions, Director
Office of Corporate Communications
NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka
A logistics team from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka visited the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH-183) recently. NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka leadership had the unique opportunity to tour the ship and view the capability of the largest and most sophisticated destroyer in the JMSDF.
“It was a great privilege to be invited to tour the Izumo and to see first-hand the tremendous logistics capabilities our JMSDF counterparts have established,” said NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffery Davis. “I was impressed by the professionalism and pride evident in the crew of this immaculately maintained ship. It was clear that the strong bilateral partnership that exists between our navies is founded on professionalism and mutual respect.”
With a displacement of 19,500 tons, the vessel is comparable in size to the U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and can accommodate seven anti-submarine and two transportation helicopters in the hangar bay. It has transport capability and can provide replenishments at sea. With a crew of more than 400, Izumo can conduct multiple air operations simultaneously and has the facilities to provide medical support during emergencies scenarios, including a command and control hub for maritime operations during disaster relief missions.
“When I asked them about deployment time in response to humanitarian assistance or disaster relief, I learned Izumo can be ready and underway in two hours,” said NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Operations Cmdr. Mike Schilling. “These relief capabilities, from airlift to medical facilities, along with the full spectrum of logistics capabilities the ship provides to Japan, are astonishing. It was an honor to walk the decks of JS Izumo.”
The U.S. Navy supported the government of Japan with humanitarian relief and assistance after the Tohoku 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck, seriously damaging the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the surrounding area. During Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. and Japan participated together in one of their largest bi-lateral military operations ever. The two nations continue to work together to strengthen their bi-lateral relationship, especially in response to disasters.
One year after the JS Izumo was commissioned, two earthquakes struck the Kumamoto region of Japan. The ship was able to respond to the disaster with a joint transportation mission that carried more than 160 JMSDF personnel and 40 vehicles from Otaru in the Hokkaido prefecture to Hakata in the Fukuoka prefecture in three days, a trip that normally would have taken five. With ships like JS Izumo, the fast response time guarantees that lives will be saved, especially in a country that is vulnerable to natural disasters.