Defense

June 13, 2014

Misawa launches first Global Hawk

Tags:
A1c Patrick S. Ciccarone
Misawa AB, Japan

An RQ-4 Global Hawk from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, lands May 24, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The aircraft is part of the 69th Reconnaissance Group Detachment 1 and is the first Global Hawk to land in Japanese territory.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk made its first operational flight out of Misawa Air Base, Japan, June 6.

The flight marked two milestones: the first time an RQ-4 mission has flown out of Japan, and the first operational mission flown out of a jointly-used civilian and military airfield.

According to detachment officials, combining and coordinating civilian Japanese airline traffic with military entities typically isn’t done. “It’s important because it proves that remotely piloted aircraft and manned aircraft can operate on the same airfield together despite their variety of missions or purpose.”

The Global Hawk’s ability to fly in adverse weather conditions was spotlighted, taking off in minimum runway visibility and maximum cloud coverage.

In fact, all prior scheduled flights were canceled during that day due to severe inclement weather, letting the Global Hawk roam the skies uninhibited.

“Weather conditions like we experienced June 6 would have normally canceled all airfield flying,” said MSgt. Michael Adcock, the 35th Operations Support Squadron weather flight chief. “Heavy fog conditions were present above the airfield which would significantly impact flying, but the Global Hawk successfully operated in these adverse conditions.”

With the 35th Fighter Wing’s weather flight providing expert assistance to the Global Hawk team, the RQ-4 is able to takeoff efficiently, even in the worst weather.

“We have members of the weather flight work with us in person to advise us with real-time forecasts and weather patterns,” said the Detachment 1 commander. “They’re absolutely critical to our mission.”

The RQ-4 Global Hawk uses technology like radio altimeters and global positioning satellites, allowing the RPA to “sense” when it’s aligned with the runway and when to engage its brakes when landing.

“That’s the advantage of the RQ-4’s automated taking off and landing; the weather visibility isn’t really necessary,” said the Director of Operations for Detachment 1. “We don’t need to see in order to land or takeoff.”

Extensive coordination was made between the Global Hawk team and the Japanese government prior to coming to Misawa. Agreements with the Japanese Air Self Defense Force’s air traffic control team at Misawa were ironed out, allowing the RQ-4 to fly within the local airspace.

“There was a lot of planning that went into the early agreement stages,” said the director of operations. “Once we came to an understanding and the letters of agreement were in place, going out and flying became a simple matter.”

With the RQ-4 Global Hawk poised to stay at Misawa throughout the summer season, future missions and exercises are expected, further strengthening the relationship between the U.S. military and Japan.

“With our team operating here for the foreseeable future, it’s going to allow for positive interoperability with the JASDF,” said the Detachment 1 commander. “I think that’s a good step in the right direction for a long term partnership.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines March 23, 2015

News: Obama says more troops will stay in Afghanistan next year - President Obama March 24 formally abandoned his pledge to bring U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan down to 5,000 by the end of this year, saying the current force of about 10,000 will remain there into 2016.   Business: U.S. special ops to sole-source 2,000...
 
 

News Briefs March 25, 2015

Pentagon notifying U.S. troops named by alleged IS hackers The Pentagon said March 23 it is notifying 100 U.S. military members that their names and addresses were posted on the Internet by a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division. The group said it was posting the information, including photos of the individuals, to...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Lockheed Martin acquires high-speed wind tunnel, plans upgrades

Courtesy photograph A RATTLRS cruise-missile inlet undergoes testing at the High Speed Wind Tunnel at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie. Lockheed Martin recently purchased the facility and plans numerou...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andrew McMurtrie

Off they go: Three more C-130Js delivered

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andrew McMurtrie March 19, a U.S. Air Force crew took delivery of and ferried an MC-130J Commando II Special Operations tanker aircraft that is assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command’s ...
 
 

Northrop to provide DIRCM for Canadian Chinook fleet

Northrop Grumman has been selected by the Royal Canadian Air Force to provide infrared missile protection on its fleet of CH-147F Chinooks. “Battle-tested in the harshest conditions and in use around the world, Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasure systems have been protecting warfighters for more than 50 years,” said Carl Smith, vice president, infrared countermeasures, ...
 
 

UTC Aerospace awarded contract for surface ship sonar domes

UTC Aerospace Systems has received a contract from the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Crane, Indiana, to provide sonar domes for surface combat ships. The five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract is valued at up to $39 million and covers deliveries through 2020 to the U.S. Navy and foreign military sales. In addition to the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>