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RQ-4 completes inaugural flight

  • Published
  • By By: Airman 1st Class Anthony Jennings
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen Airmen made their mark in history Oct. 7 as the RQ-4 Global Hawk successfully took off and landed on the runway here for the first time.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk, which arrived Sept. 1, is the only permanently stationed aircraft at Andersen Air Force Base. So far, one of three planned RQ-4s has arrived on Andersen. The remaining two are scheduled to arrive later this year and at the beginning of 2011.

Staff Sgt. Jason, one of three Global Hawk maintenance operations controllers, is responsible for monitoring and coordinating sortie production, maintenance production, and execution of the flying maintenance schedules. He says being part of the team responsible for making the flight possible is an honor.

"I speak for all of us here at the Global Hawk Maintenance Operations Control when I say we are privileged to have a part in this momentous occasion," Sergeant Jason said. "It means a lot to me to not only be part of this unique team, but to have an opportunity to be associated with one of the U.S. Air Force's newest aircraft."

One of the challenges Sergeant Jason and his team had to overcome was building a MOC from scratch.

"We had to get familiar with Global Hawk operations since Staff Sgt. Roderick and I are from the F-16 Fighting Falcon world and Senior Airman Christopher used to work with the F-15 Eagle," Sergeant Jason said.

Local crews will launch and land the aircraft from Andersen, while crews at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., will control the bulk of the mission once out of the local area.

"That was another challenge, establishing a working relationship with the Beale Air Force Base MOC - with them, what seems to be, a world away," said Sergeant Jason.

Gen. Gary North, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, said during the RQ-4's arrival ceremony Sept. 20, the addition of RQ-4 capabilities to Andersen AFB ensures the 36th Wing, 13th Air Force and the Pacific Air Forces are fully prepared to provide U.S. Pacific Command airpower solutions across the spectrum of ISR requirements.

With its inaugural flight, the RQ-4 is another step closer to achieving that goal.