An RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone arrived at Yokota Air Base Monday night, starting a five-month operation in Tokyo, the U.S. base announced.
A Defense Ministry source said that the aircraft could be used to conduct surveillance of North Korea, over which political tensions have been ratcheted up over the past month.
The aircraft is part of the 69th Reconnaissance Group Detachment 1 and provides near real-time aerial imagery reconnaissance support to U.S. and partner nations, according to the base’s website.
The aircraft was flown from its home at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to avoid typhoons there, the Stars and Stripes quoted Detachment 1 commander Col. Jeremy Fields as saying.
The drones and members of the detachment normally travel from their Guam home base to operate out of Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture during the summer to avoid typhoons, but that wasn’t possible last year or this year because of renovations to