|Air Force selects Global Hawk UAV Main Operating Base |
Air Force selects Global Hawk UAV Main Operating Base
Langley Air Force Base, Virginia -- (ACCNS) July 26, 2001 -- The Air Force today selected Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the first Global Hawk main operating base. Air Force officials recently completed an environmental assessment and found basing 18 of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at Beale would result in no significant environmental impacts.
This decision follows a Jan. 19 Air Force announcement declaring Beale as the preferred location for the beddown of the UAV. Other bases under consideration included Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Global Hawk provides Air Force commanders high-altitude, long-endurance, near-real-time intelligence.
"Collocating Global Hawk with Beale’s 9th Reconnaissance Wing and the U-2 mission will ensure Global Hawk transitions smoothly from initial beddown to full operational capability," said Air Combat Command commander, Gen. John P. Jumper. "It also ensures cultural issues associated with transitioning from manned to unmanned reconnaissance are in the hands of our current high-altitude reconnaissance experts at Beale. They are best suited to complete the transition with the least disruption to the mission."
"The first beddown location will be just that--the first, not the last," continued Jumper. "It is important the first Global Hawk site be the best place for us to find out all we can about its capability, and the best place to fold it into a critical ongoing mission."
Air Force officials are confident the Global Hawk program will be a tremendous success. As such, the bases not selected for the initial beddown, as well as others, could be candidates for future missions and basing.
The Air Force anticipates the first of the 18 primary aircraft and personnel to begin arriving at Beale AFB in 2002 and 2003, with initial capability to support limited operations beginning in 2003. For more information, contact Air Combat Command Public Affairs at 757-764-5007.