Predator Operations Over Alaskan Waters to Support the U
Predator Operations Over
Alaskan Waters to Support the U.S. Coast Guard
San Diego, California -- (GA-ASI)
November 25, 2003 -- Two U.S. Navy RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s)
recently completed a successful deployment to the King Salmon area of south
western Alaska in support of the U.S. Coast Guard. The aircraft flew maritime
patrol missions under the extreme adverse conditions of an Alaskan winter, which
included takeoff temperatures of - 30° and snow.
The deployment was under the operational control of the
United States Coast Guard, with operational support being provided by the United
States Navy (NAVAIR PMA-263). Flight operations were under the direct control of
the Navy’s Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS)
group. GA-ASI provided contractor flight and maintenance crews to operate the
two Navy Predators. As part of the exercise, the U.S. Coast Guard received real
time Predator video and posted it to a file transfer protocol site for
observation by Coast Guard officers throughout the continental US in near real
All flights originated from King Salmon airport and were
conducted over the Bristol and Kvichak Bay areas. The Predators conducted
surveillance and communications relay missions in conjunction with the U.S.
Coast Guard Cutter Hickory. Weather and cold temperatures proved to be a
challenge for both the Predator ground crews and the USCGC Hickory. The
extremely cold weather affected generators and other ground support equipment.
The Coast Guard Cutter operated in seas in excess of 20 feet. The Predators
themselves were undaunted by the weather challenges, flying 6 flights in 4 days.
Operating in numerous combat and politically sensitive areas
throughout the world, the RQ-1 Predator system continues to meet the needs of
the U.S. military and the Homeland Security Department in its fight against