Pacific Air Forces leaders have been touting the coming of a UAV force for the Pacific region. But, first here comes the pint-size brigade—a 30-pound weather UAV. Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation technicians have flown the first “Weatherscout” test mission from Andersen AFB, Guam, kicking off a six-week testing period that runs through November. If the WUAV passes testing, its will become PACAF’s equivalent of the Hurricane Hunters’ WC-130J. Its mission: to track tropical cyclones in the Pacific Ocean. It can fly for about 30 hours, traveling about 1,800 miles, as it tracks weather systems to help forecast typhoons and cyclones for the Joint Typhoon Warning Center at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.