You may have seen the voluntary departures we have been doing due to the State Department/DoD order for voluntary evacuation. They authorized dependents to leave Northeast Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami. It's not really my place to approve or disapprove of the operation, but it's just not that bad here! nevertheless we just finished sending about 1,500 dependents back to the US. I know for my flight most of the families who left had their spouse deployed, but some people are probably just taking a free flight back to the states.
We're still supporting clean-up efforts all over our region and control of the clean-up operations is actually transitioning from the Red Cross to the base. I might try to get out there again next week if I can but we're still doing 12 hour shifts.
Most of the facilities on base are back to normal now that they've opened up the toll roads. The gasoline restrictions have been lifted and we can fuel up as needed, all of the restaurants on base are open, and they have even opened the gym back up! We still need to conserve resources, electricity especially, but almost everything is back to normal.
I've gotten a lot of questions about the nuclear reactor down in Fukushima. Misawa is 236 miles north of the reactor and the seasonal winds this time of year blow in a southeasterly direction. We're being told that we are not in any danger of radiation where we are located.
We are still getting a lot of aftershocks and had two fairly strong ones today. Sometimes its hard to tell with some of the smaller ones so one of the guys made a homemade seismograph to see if we're having an aftershock.
The pen doesn't really write during an earthquake since it's a shitty government pen, but it will sway back and forth so you can at least be sure that we're having one and you're not going crazy! We all joke about how we're completely complacent with earthquakes now since we have quakes in the 5's and 6's daily.
It has been snowing a lot recently too. Here was the road away from my work on my way home the other morning. Luckily it warms up above freezing most days and the snow doesn't last long.
Other than these few things I have written about things have been pretty boring. I'm hoping to get back to some sort of normal schedule soon, but as of right now we don't know when that will happen.
I'm just dropping this in so I can claim my blog on milblogging.com (thanks for the heads-up Leighton).
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