NATO Exercises Next Week
For Global Hawk UAV
by Jim Mathews
04/26/00 08:44:50 AM U.S. EDT
The U.S. Air Force’s Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle demonstrator next week will fly missions supporting NATO amphibious operations in exercises USAF officials note mark the reconnaissance UAV’s first trans-Atlantic flight to Europe.
Two major exercises are on tap for Global Hawk in May. The first, Linked Seas 00, runs May 1-12 and involves NATO Supreme Allied Command Atlantic and the regional SOUTHLANT command, as well as several NATO nations. A second, week-long mission begins May 14 involving a Navy carrier battle group and Marine expeditionary force during the JTFEX 00-02 exercise.
“These are really ‘graduation exercises’ for the Global Hawk Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration,” said Lt. Col. Mike Trundy, with the Global Hawk Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The two exercises, plus a demonstration last week with the U.S. Coast Guard, are part of an evaluation of the UAV’s worth that runs through June.
During the exercises, “Global Hawk will demonstrate wide area search imagery for fleet defense; direct support to amphibious operations; and special operations,” Trundy said, along with “continuous intelligence about the battlespace; bomb/battle damage assessment; and time-sensitive targeting.”
The $25 million Global Hawk began a six-week deployment last Friday with a flight to Eglin AFB, Fla., from Edwards AFB, Calif.