Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 16, 2014

RQ-4 Global Hawk Makes First Flight Out of Misawa

By Airman 1st Class Patrick S. Ciccarone 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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

The flight marked two milestones, as it was the first time an RQ-4 mission has flown out of Japan, in addition to being the first operational mission flown out of a jointly-used civilian and military airfield.

"Combining and coordinating civilian Japanese airline traffic with military entities typically isn't done anywhere," said the Assistant Director of Operations for Detachment 1. "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 Master Sgt. Michael Adcock, 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."
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
304,552
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS

Puerto Rico Transports Marines, Heavy Equipment During Resolute Dragon
Military Sealift Command’s expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11) is supporting the U.S. Marine Corps during Resolute Dragon 21 in Japan, Dec 4-16.  Resolute Dragon helps strengthen the defensive capabilities of the U.S.-Japan Alliance by refining procedures for bilateral command, control and coordination in a geographically distributed environment. Fast, agile and flexible, Puerto Rico can support a wide range of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, theater security cooperation, maritime domain awareness and noncombatant evacuations.
Dec. 3, 2021 - JAPAN -- The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11) is supporting the U.S. Marine Corps during Resolute Dragon 21 in Japan, Dec. 4 - 16.“The crew of USNS Puerto Rico is proud to work with the Marines of...

U.S., South Korean Defense Leaders Assess State of Alliance
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and South Korean Minister of Defense Suh Wook answer questions during a press conference after the 53rd U.S.-Republic of Korea Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) at the Defense Ministry in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Dec. 2, 2021.
Dec. 3, 2021 - WASHINGTON -- In a complex and changing security environment in the Indo-Pacific, one constant is the ironclad alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said today...

53rd Wing WSEP Enhances Air Superiority and Tests Multi-platform Interoperability
A pair of F-16C Fighting Falcons assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron participate in the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group’s Weapons System Evaluation Program East 22.02, hosted at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 16, 2021. WSEP tests and validates the performance of crews, pilots, and their technology to enhance readiness for real-world operations.
Dec. 3, 2021 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida recently hosted the Weapons System Evaluation Program-East November 8-19, 2021. WSEP is a formal evaluation of a squadron's...

70th Annual Operation Christmas Drop kicks off Dec. 6 in Guam
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 734th Air Mobility Squadron, 44th Aerial Port Squadron and the 374th Airlift Wing unload humanitarian supplies from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in preparation for Operation Christmas Drop, Dec. 1, 2021. Over the course of 10 days, crews will airdrop donated food, supplies, educational materials, and tools to 55 islanders throughout the South-Eastern Pacific, including the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
Dec. 2, 2021 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- U.S. and partner nation Airmen are set to participate in the Department of Defense’s longest running humanitarian assistance training mission out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, beginning...