The United States has begun to move five Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam. The arrival of the first such drone to the Yokota Air Base in Tokyo was filmed by the Japanese NHK television channel.
More than 100 American technicians will also travel there to maintain and service the drones. The UAVs will be deployed in Japan temporarily, until October of this year. The decision that it would be a temporary deployment was based on the fact that operating high-altitude reconnaissance vehicles of this type from the island of Guam in the summer is largely dependent on weather conditions. After the UAVs are deployed in Japan, they can be used in the summer months.
In 2014 and 2015, the United States deployed such UAVs on a temporary basis to the American Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture. After 2020, the Japanese Ministry of Defense plans to receive three Global Hawk UAVs for their Air Self-Defense Forces. They will be deployed on their base in Misawa.
Considering the technical capabilities of these UAVs, the Japanese media suggested that they would be used to monitor the situation on the Korean Peninsula.