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HOMELAND SECURITY

12 Feb 10. The RQ-4 Global Hawk, Northrop Grumman Corporation’s premier unmanned reconnaissance aircraft system, continues its persistent watch over Haiti. To date, the Global Hawk has flown six missions, approximately 130 hours, and provided more than 3,600 images of Port-au-Prince and areas damaged by the massive earthquake and ensuing aftershocks that rocked the Caribbean nation earlier this year. “Thanks to Global Hawk’s highly advanced sensors, which are capable of taking hundreds of images in a single mission, we’ve provided disaster assessments for various agencies to make real-time decisions,” said Gen.
Bob Otto, commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, Calif. “The ability to fly 24-hour duration sorties meant the Global Hawk could support hundreds of ad-hoc requests while staying well clear of the relief workers and neighboring airports. Truly, Global Hawk’s capabilities have proven invaluable to the worldwide humanitarian efforts in Haiti.” On Jan. 13, a U.S. Air Force Block 10 Global Hawk was diverted by the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base from its trip en-route to support usual wartime operations in Afghanistan to assist in relief efforts after Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12. A Global Hawk took off from its main operating base at Beale Air Force Base, flew to Haiti, and provided 12 hours of coverage over the disaster area before landing at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. Subsequent missions were launched from Maryland to provide 14 to 16 hours of persistent watch over Haiti before landing back at Patuxent River. “Not only has Global Hawk helped determine the extent of damages and usability of Haiti’s infrastructure, it has also helped to find and recommend roadways and airfields accessible for delivering emergency supplies and rescuing injured and trapped people,” said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman vice president of high-altitude, long-endurance systems. “We are committed to supporting the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti for as long as necessary to help rebuild the lives of those affected.”

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