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Global Hawk conducts first ever landing in South Korea during Air Show

Grand Forks Air Force Base Airmen gather in front of their RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2017 at the Seoul Airport, Republic of Korea, October 20, 2017. The Seoul ADEX is the largest, most comprehensive event of its kind in Northeast Asia, attracting aviation and aerospace professionals, key defense personnel, aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Grand Forks Air Force Base Airmen gather in front of their RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2017 at the Seoul Airport, Republic of Korea, October 20, 2017. The Seoul ADEX is the largest, most comprehensive event of its kind in Northeast Asia, attracting aviation and aerospace professionals, key defense personnel, aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk recently made its first landing in the Republic of South Korea for the 2017 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX).

The Seoul ADEX is held every year to give American service members a chance to showcase their various aircraft and equipment to the Korean public. ADEX is one of the largest, most comprehensive events to be held in Northeast Asia attracting aviation and aerospace professionals, key defense personnel and aviation enthusiasts from the local community.

“The Global Hawk was chosen to be apart of ADEX this year because we are looking to expand our capabilities and let everyone know what the aircraft is capable of,” said Capt. Justin Stone, 69th Maintenance Squadron operations officer. “Our goal is to inform the public, the military and our Department of Defense partners what we can provide with the RQ-4.”

The 69th Maintenance Squadron is responsible for 13 unmanned aircraft with seven deployed and six on station.

“We maintain the Block-20 and Block-40 aircraft; the Block-20s are always downrange where they are most useful in a combat zone,” said Stone. “The Block-40s move between Grand Forks AFB, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and the 380th.”

During ADEX, approximately 200 U.S. personnel facilitated a cross-section of U.S. Military aircraft, which were set up as static displays and used for aerial demonstrations. Seven maintenance personnel along with a pilot and sensor operator from the 69th Maintenance and Operations squadron deployed to assist in the air show.

While this may be the Global Hawks first ever landing in Korea, it is no stranger to airshows. The Global Hawk was featured as a static display at the Melbourne Air and Space show in 2014 as well as the Australian International Air Show in 2015.

“The Global Hawk is still considered a fairly new aircraft,” said Stone. “It’s a pretty popular request for Airshows as people are still getting familiar with it and learning about its capabilities.”