The devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami have crippled Japan. There are no words to cover how much of a disaster this really is. We are learning more by the hour.
At least one Japanese military base was hit hard. Matsushima AB was home to F-2 fighters (Japan's indigenous version of the F-16), and T-4 trainers. There are reports that 18 of the advanced fighters were tossed around by the floodwaters. With their delicate electronic systems being bounced around, and the salt water immersion, it is doubtful that they will be repairable.
The Blue Impulse Aerobatic Team was not at home during the disaster. Two of their spare T-4 aircraft were on the base, and are presumed to have flooded out. At least one UH-60 rescue helicopter was seen in a damaged condition, as were several U-125 maritime surveillance aircraft.
A number of historic, preserved aircraft were flooded. Aerial photos show them covered with debris.
The human cost to this disaster is hard to comprehend. Like the Haiti earthquake, or the Indonesian tsunami, natural disasters like this are on a scale that is not comprehendable, unless you are directly involved. However, in the long term, it appears that Japan's Defense Forces have suffered a serious blow.
Photo Credit AP.