(HOSHNU, Japan) -- At its peak, the Navy had 22 ships dedicated to the Japanese relief effort that became known as Operation Tomodachi.
Monday night, the Navy scaled back its effort to four ships. The carrier USS Ronald Reagan has departed the eastern shore of Japan and will remain on duty in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. Before departing, the Japanese defense minister visited the Reagan to thank Navy sailors and airmen for their efforts.
The four remaining ships are the command ship USS Blue Ridge, the amphibious ships USS Essex and the USS Tortuga and the salvage ship USS Safeguard.
In addition to the four ships, 54 Navy aircraft and 4,295 personnel are actively engaged in Operation Tomodachi.
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