Image copyright Master Sgt. Jason Tudor/Air Force
By Brian Everstine
Copyright Air Force Times
Two Global Hawks, currently stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will deploy to Misawa Air Base, Japan, from May to October, along with about 40 personnel, according to Pacific Air Forces.
The mission “further contributes to the security of Japan and the region,” PACAF spokeswoman Maj. Jillian Torongo said. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that this deployment is an example of the shift to the Pacific and the Air Force’s growing reliance on the Global Hawk.
“We’ll have the first deployment of the Global Hawk to Japan later this year. And so I think we’re doing more and more with our partners,” Welsh told the House Armed Services Committee on March 14. “The aircraft is performing very, very well.”
The Global Hawk already has experience flying over Japan. It was used to assist Japan in disaster relief and recovery following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The aircraft also assisted in the humanitarian response to last year’s tsunami in the Philippines.