Global Hawks End Misawa Tour

Two RQ-4 Global Hawks deployed to Misawa AB, Japan, have returned to Andersen AFB, Guam, after nearly six months of flying operations from the dual-use Japanese airfield, announced Pacific Air Forces. PACAF officials said recently the deployment was exceptionally successful, and will examine continuing it next year during the rainy season on Guam. According to officials with Det. 1 of the 69th Reconnaissance Group, the two RQ-4s flew from June to October from Misawa without a single weather loss, even flying some days when manned aircraft could not fly. The deployment marked the first time an unmanned aircraft was flown from a base in Japan, and the first time an RQ-4 flew operational sorties from a joint-use civilian and military airfield. The high altitude reconnaissance remotely piloted aircraft was able to operate without additional restrictions, after filing flight plans with both the Japan Air Self Defense Force’s air traffic control operators and Japanese civil aviation authorities. Det. 1 officials said it is likely the aircraft will return to Misawa, and gave credit to the base’s 35th Fighter Wing for supporting their mission.