DoD Creates Registry Linked to Japanese Emergency

The Operation Tomodachi registry is for 70,000 U.S. service members, family members, DoD civilians, and DoD contractors who were in Japan from March 12 to May 11, 2011, according to an Armed Forces Press Service report.

The U.S. Department of Defense has created a registry for 70,000 U.S. service members, family members, DoD civilians, and DoD contractors who were in Japan from March 12 to May 11, 2011, the time after an earthquake and tsunami devastated part of the northeastern coast of Japan, crippling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and causing a radiation leak. Jim Garamone of American Forces Press Service reported no Defense Department personnel or their families were exposed to radiation causing adverse health conditions as a result, but the department has set up the registry to provide information to those who served there.

Garamone's report quotes Dr. Craig Postlewaite, DOD's director for force readiness and health assurance: "The concept of a registry evolved very soon after the crisis in Japan. Initially, there was great emphasis placed on environmental monitoring, because we needed to monitor those levels to ensure that people weren't adversely affected during the crisis."

The registry is possible because DoD has monitoring data, and there was a policy that required the services to report daily the precise location of every service member. Garamone reported it contains dosage estimates for 13 land locations, U.S. Navy ships located off the mainland of Japan, air crews, and about 4,000 U.S. responders who were issued radiation dosimeters. Postlewaite said the registry and a related website will be finished this year.

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