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Global Hawk Block 30 IOC:  The RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 variant achieved initial operational capability last week.  "The basic requirement for Block 30 IOC is to support one continuous Block 30 24-hour orbit for 30 days," announced Gen. William Fraser, Air Combat Command boss, Aug. 10. "There are enough assets and infrastructure in place to support the one continuous Block 30 orbit requirement for IOC."  Leading up to this milestone, Block 30 configured Global Hawks have deployed in operations over Libya and Afghanistan.  Block 30s from Andersen AFB, Guam, also took critical images of Japan's badly damaged Fukushima nuclear plant and aided in damage assessment following the earthquake and tsunami which struck the country earlier this year. "There is still much that needs to be done to reach Global Hawk full operational capability," said Fraser. The current Air Force plans call for 31 Block 30s. (Langley release)