7 September 2010
The aircraft was flown by pilots and sensor operators from the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron here. The flight to Andersen AFB marked the surpassing of the 45, 000 flight-hour mark for the Global Hawk program.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is preparing to go through the Department of Defense-directed Initial Operation Test and Evaluation process. Upon completion, Det. 3 will be operational. The current focus at Andersen AFB will be to bed down and conduct procedural testing with the aircraft.
"Det. 3 will take care of validation and character testing such as taxi and pattern tests," said the 12th RS commander.
It is anticipated that future missions will be strategic reconnaissance and humanitarian support.
"We will provide support for things such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions to areas from (South) Korea to as far as the Indian Ocean," the commander said.
The landing of the RQ-4 at Andersen AFB marks a historical step forward for the 12th RS and for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.
"It was exciting to be out there," said squadron's mission commander. "Being new to the RQ-4 career makes this a very significant moment."
Airmen from the 12th RS will be working closely with Det. 3 and
PACAF officials to ensure the stand up of the forward operation
location runs smoothly.