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​An RQ-4 Global Hawk from Andersen AFB, Guam lands at Yokota AB, Japan, May 1, 2017. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe.

​RQ-4s began flying missions from Yokota AB, Japan, for the first time last week. Five Global Hawks and 105 operations and support personnel are deployed there from Andersen AFB, Guam, through October to produce more efficient sorties during typhoon season. In previous years, the RQ-4s had deployed to Misawa AB, Japan, for the same purpose, but the runway there is currently under repair, according to a press release. The RPAs will support the ISR mission throughout the Pacific Theater and will also be available for potential disaster relief. In 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan, the Global Hawk supported Operation Tomadachi relief efforts, flying continuously for 21 days and using its long-range and infrared cameras to produce more than 3,000 pictures of the affected areas, according to the release.