MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan - Family members of Soldiers belonging to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command, 1st Space Brigade stationed on Misawa AFB, took advantage of the Department of Defense's authorized Voluntary Departure of Family Members Program, in light of the devastation left by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

These Family members began their journey from Misawa this afternoon (March 22), after being processed and prioritized over the weekend at the Misawa AFB Club. These Family members are assigned with their spouses to D Detachment (Joint Tactical Ground Station), 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion, 1st Space Brigade. JTAGS provides early missile warning for the combatant commander in theater.

The first flight from Misawa carrying 240 passengers is scheduled to touch down at Seattle, Wash., late this afternoon. There, personnel from the 1st Space Brigade will begin meeting with the first of the returning JTAGS Family members, for assistance as they continue their journey back to their home of record.

According to military officials, Family members will temporarily relocate state-side while restoration efforts continue in Japan.