YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) —
U.S. Pacific Air Forces began positioning RQ-4 Global Hawks at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, May 15 to provide theater-wide enduring operations in support of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The Global Hawk’s mission is to provide a broad range of U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities to support joint forces, and Allies and partners in worldwide peacetime, contingency and crisis operations.
The Global Hawk serves as a high-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted and unarmed, aerial reconnaissance system. The aircraft provides persistent, day and night, high-resolution, all-weather imagery of large geographic areas with an array of integrated sensors and cameras.
The Global Hawk also supports humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations such as during Operation Tomodachi, when the Defense Department mobilized 24,000 service members to assist Japan with disaster relief after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit the northeastern Honshu coast March 11, 2011, resulting in a tsunami that flooded the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The Global Hawk has been rotationally operating from Yokota AB since 2017.