Guam – Andersen Air Force Base celebrated the arrival of the RQ-4 Global Hawk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance remotely piloted aircraft to Guam during a ceremony at the base TODAY [Monday].
The ceremony, hosted by Gen. Gary North, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, featured an RQ-4, an F-22 Raptor, F-15 Eagle, and F-18 Hornet as a backdrop – a nod to the role of airpower in the Pacific region.
The Global Hawk brings significant capabilities to the Pacific theater which will benefit the 36th Wing, Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Command, and regional partners, according to General North.
“Having an ISR capability within the Pacific greatly enhances Air Force operational intelligence capabilities to meet mission requirements,” General North said. “In addition , the Global Hawk will enhance the U.S. and its partners’ ability to effectively address regional challenges such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, terrorism and piracy.”
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is capable of providing government and military decision makers near real-time, high-altitude, long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery that can support a full spectrum of operations. Flying above ordinary commercial traffic, the aircraft can survey large geographic areas with pinpoint accuracy, without impacting civilian aircraft routes. The imagery provides the most current information available during contingency or crisis situations.
“This is a technology that saves lives,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Baker, Air Combat Command Detachment 3 commander. “The RQ-4 has been used in contingency operations and humanitarian missions before. During wildfires in California, the Global Hawk provided firefighters with a near real-time view of the crisis, and helped firefighters and rescue personnel direct their efforts.”
The Pacific Air Forces commander noted the significance of basing the system in Guam.
“Basing the RQ-4 at Andersen AFB will support ongoing regional partnerships and reaffirm to U.S. friends, allies, and partner nations of our commitment to continue modernization efforts and force structure beddown to support maintaining peace and stability in the region,.” General North said.