Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

U.S. to base Global Hawks in Japan

Oct. 3, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Two or three RQ-4 Global Hawks will be based in Japan beginning next spring, Defense Department officials announced Oct. 2.
Two or three RQ-4 Global Hawks will be based in Japan beginning next spring, Defense Department officials announced Oct. 2. (Alan Radecki/Northrop Grumman)
  • Filed Under

The Air Force’s largest surveillance drone will now be based in Japan, with its eyes pointed toward North Korea and China.

Defense Department officials announced Oct. 2 that two or three RQ-4 Global Hawks will be based in Japan beginning next spring. The move was announced as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting leaders in Japan, but additional details on the specific base or the length of stay were not released.

American officials are still coordinating with local communities on the details of the basing, a senior defense official said.

“This is an example, even as we deal with a complex and difficult budget environment in Washington, we continue to prioritize Asia and ensure that Asia continues to host the most advanced U.S. military capabilities,” the defense official said in a briefing.

The basing would be “seasonal” and not a rear-round stay, but the aircraft would be flying out of a U.S. base in Japan for “a period of a year,” the official said.

Global Hawks regularly rotate out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, but this would be the first basing of the large drones in Japan.

The Air Force flew Global Hawks over Japan as part of Operation Tomogachi in 2011 to assist relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in the region. The service also deploys Global Hawks to bases in southwest Asia to fly intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in that region.

The move makes sense for the Air Force to place an aircraft with a capability for surveillance over the South China Sea, said Mark Gunzinger, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis.

“It’s extremely long endurance, it’s exactly the kind of surveillance we need in the Pacific region,” he said.

In addition to the Global Hawks, U.S. officials also announced plans to send more Marine Corps F-35Bs and ballistic missile radars and a Navy P-8 maritime patrol to the region beginning in December.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook