Guam – Japan’s Kyodo News service is reporting that Tokyo and Washington are exploring the joint use of the Global Hawk drones stationed at Andersen Air Force Base [AAFB] to monitor Chinese military activity in the western Pacific.
The Kyodo report quotes un-named sources as saying that the “move reflects the U.S. military goal to make Guam a key strategic hub for the Asia-Pacific region and its desire for Japan’s cooperation to better monitor Chinese military activities.”
According to the report, Japan’s “Self-Defense” forces would deploy their own aircraft on Guam. Tokyo plans to buy several unmanned spy drones by fiscal 2020 at the latest, according to Kyodo.
The proposal calls for the U.S. military and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces “to jointly use maintenance facilities and hangars as well as equipment for remote control of unmanned drones as part of cost-cutting measures amid both countries’ fiscal constraints.”
There are 3 Global Hawk remotely controlled drones at AAFB. The Global Haw, unlike the Predator drone, is not armed and lacks attack capability.