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The US Air Force (USAF) has redeployed a squadron of 319th Reconnaissance Wing RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system to Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) in Guam.

The RQ-4s were redeployed following the completion of a three-month rotational deployment to Yokota Air Base in Japan.

The unmanned aircraft system was deployed to Japan to ensure smooth operations during the summer typhoon-season in the western Pacific.

374th Airlift Wing commander colonel Otis Jones said: “We were pleased to welcome the 319th Reconnaissance Wing Det 1 back to Yokota Air Base.

“They not only integrated seamlessly with our team but were also able to strengthen relationships with our local communities. The RQ-4 mission plays a critical role in the Indo-Pacific Region, and its presence here helps us ensure the safety and security of Japan.”

Previous deployments of the Global Hawk to Japan include Misawa Air Base in 2014, 2015, and 2018, and Yokota in 2017.

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319th Operations Group Det 1 commander lieutenant colonel Ben Craycraft said: “Having alternate locations to execute our mission during seasons of inclement weather ensured our ability to continue executing US Indo-Pacific Command and the Alliance reconnaissance requirements in support of the defence of Japan and to maintain international peace and security in the region.

“Our squadron of Global Hawks safely and flawlessly executed each mission daily, virtually unnoticed, without incident. This is all thanks to the extensive and outstanding support the Samurai Warrior Team at the 374th Airlift Wing provided our squadron.”

Built by Northrop Grumman, the Global Hawk is a high-altitude remotely piloted surveillance aircraft that can support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The unarmed aircraft can be used to provide day and night, high-resolution imagery of large geographic areas.

The RQ-4 can also support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.