Global Hawks to Deploy to Japan

The Air Force is sending five RQ-4 Global Hawks to Japan to avoid typhoons and continue surveillance flights over the Pacific region. The five aircraft and 105 personnel, currently based at Andersen AFB, Guam, will deploy to Yokota AB, Japan, from May to October 2017, according to a Pacific Air Forces release. The deployment will keep “with our commitment to further contribute to the security of Japan and to the stability of the region,” the release states. The deployment comes as North Korea has ramped up its missile testing, repeatedly sending test missiles into the Sea of Japan. The Air Force deployed two Andersen-based Global Hawks to Misawa AB, Japan, in 2014 and three in 2015, but kept the remotely piloted aircraft in Guam last summer because the Misawa runway was under construction. Pacific Air Force officials previously told Air Force Magazine the Global Hawks more than doubled the sortie efficiency during the first deployment to Japan due to better weather conditions.