The U.S. Air Force plans to deploy five RQ-4 Global Hawks and approximately 105 personnel, currently based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to Yokota Air Base, Japan, from May to October 2017.
Summer Global Hawk operations from Guam are adversely impacted by the frequency of inclement weather, including typhoon activities.
This rotational deployment of the Global Hawk is temporary but necessary to provide a base from which the platform can be reliably operated during the summer.
The United States continues to deploy its most advanced capabilities to Japan, including the Global Hawk, in keeping with our commitment to further contribute to the security of Japan and to the stability of the region.
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.
Photo: RQ-4 Global Hawk takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Oct. 7, 2010 – U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Nichelle Anderson
Sources: USAF Press Release. Air Force Magazine