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Guam Gets Unmanned Surveillance Craft

Posted December. 05, 2005 07:09,   


Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper serving the U.S. military community, reported on December 4 that the date for the deployment of additional Global Hawks, high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to the Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) in Guam will be advanced. The paper also wrote that the U.S. is working on the creation of an ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Global Hawk Center of Excellence with its allies.

According to the daily, Gen. Paul Hester, commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, said, “Beginning in 2006, Global Hawks will be placed at the Andersen Base, and six Global Hawks will stay in the Guam base on a permanent basis.”

“We are consulting with other countries that are planning to buy Global Hawk surveillance aircraft about how to allow them to use the Andersen Base. Andersen AFB will be used as a Global Hawk center in charge of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities in the region,” he added.

The initial plan was to transform the Andersen Base into a hub in the Pacific for surveillance, reconnaissance and offense by deploying three Global Hawks starting in 2009. But following the new plan, the deployment will take place three years in advance, and two more UAVs will be brought to the Guam base.

The U.S. is examining the option of a large-scale build up of the military capabilities of Andersen AFB by sending more B-2 Spirits, F-15E Strike Eagles and aircraft tankers there. Such a build up will enable U.S. forces based there to more rapidly respond to conflicts in the region.

Japan has a plan to obtain the permission from the U.S. authorities and purchase several Global Hawks by 2007. In that case, Japan will be allowed to use the Andersen facilities. Experts predict that if this happens, Japan’s surveillance and military capabilities in the region will substantially increase.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com