An Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. after flying a routine training mission on Jan. 25, 2013. (John M Schwab / Air Force)
The U.S. will base Global Hawks in Japan for surveillance of North Korea, according to the Washington Post.
“The U.S. Air Force will begin flying two or three Global Hawks from an undetermined base in Japan next spring, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters during a visit here [Japan] by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to meet their Japanese counterparts,” said the Post. The deployment is likely to irritate China, which is confronting Japan over possession of several Pacific islands, said the report.
“The Air Force already has Global Hawks stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the U.S. territory in the Pacific, but North Korea is at the edge of their range and their flights often are curtailed because of bad weather,” the Post said.
In addition to the Global Hawks, the Pentagon will deploy U.S. Navy P-8 maritime surveillance patrol aircraft to Japan, beginning in December. This marks the first time that the P-8s will be based outside the United States.