Home Air US Air Force deploys Global Hawks to Japan

US Air Force deploys Global Hawks to Japan

RQ-4 Global Hawk
An RQ-4 Global Hawk lands at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 30. Photo: US Air Force

The US Pacific Air Forces carried out a rotation of RQ-4 Global Hawks to Yokota Air Base, Japan, on May 30.

The high-altitude UAVs deployed to Japan from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, to ensure continuous operations in support of US Indo-Pacific Command’s reconnaissance requirements.

Rotating the Global Hawks allows the 319th Reconnaissance Wing Det. 1 to have a stable location from which the platform can operate when inclement weather in Guam, including typhoon activities, historically hinder readiness.

“Having alternate locations to execute our mission during seasons of inclement weather ensures our ability to continue executing US Indo-Pacific Command and the Alliance reconnaissance requirements in support of the defense of Japan and to maintain international peace and security in the region,” explained Lt Col Ben Craycraft, 319th Operations Group Det. 1 commander.

“I am extremely excited to return to Yokota Air Base and continue to build our partnership with this extremely capable base and its supportive community. As in 2019, Yokota Air Base continues to provide the most ideal location for our operations due to the Kanto Plain’s favorable weather and our ability to conduct operations without causing impacts to Yokota’s flight operations or the local communities surrounding the base.”

The Global Hawk’s mission is to support a broad spectrum of U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) collection capabilities to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency and crisis operations.

In addition to supporting ISR requirements, the Global Hawk has been used for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, such as operation Tomodachi and in support of multiple search and rescue missions in the vicinity of Japan.