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‘Here they come again:’ RQ-4 Global Hawks arrive at Yokota Air Base

An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, lands at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May, 22, 2021, for a rotational deployment. The movement maintains operations for Global Hawks during months of inclement weather on Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, lands at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May, 22, 2021, for a rotational deployment. The movement maintains operations for Global Hawks during months of inclement weather on Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, lands at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May, 22, 2021, for a rotational deployment. The movement maintains operations for Global Hawks during months of inclement weather on Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, lands at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May, 22, 2021, for a rotational deployment. The movement maintains operations for Global Hawks during months of inclement weather on Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, approaches at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May, 22, 2021, for a rotational deployment. The movement maintains operations for Global Hawks during months of inclement weather on Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

An RQ-4 Global Hawk, assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operation Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, approaches at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May, 22, 2021, for a rotational deployment. The movement maintains operations for Global Hawks during months of inclement weather on Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --

U.S. Pacific Air Forces rotated RQ-4 Global Hawks from the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron, 319th Operations Group, Anderson Air Force Base, Guam to Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 22, 2021.

The Global Hawk’s mission is to support a broad range of U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance collection capabilities to support joint forces, and allies and partners in worldwide peacetime, contingency and crisis operations.

Weather at Yokota is more favorable for the RQ-4s to operate from during Guam’s typhoon season.

The Global Hawk serves as a high-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted and unarmed, aerial reconnaissance system. The aircraft provides persistent, day and night, high resolution, all weather imagery of large geographic areas with an array of integrated sensors and cameras.

Airmen from the unit will adhere to all COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical intervention practices put in place by the Government of Japan and the Department of Defense.

The Global Hawk also supports humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations like Operation Tomodachi, when the Department of Defense mobilized 24,000 service members to assist Japan with disaster relief after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit the northeastern Honshu coast March 11, 2011, resulting in a tsunami that flooded the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.