Grand Forks Welcomes Global Hawk

Airmen at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., gathered with local community leaders and industry representatives to celebrate the arrival of the first Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft at the base. “What a great day for Grand Forks and North Dakota—this is cutting-edge technology,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas Andersen, Air Combat Command’s requirements director, during Wednesday’s ceremony. The event marked the start of a new era there after the base’s KC-135 tanker mission concluded last December after 50 years. A Global Hawk Block 20 flew in from Beale AFB, Calif., last week for the ceremony, but only the Block 40 model, which carries the sophisticated Northrop-Raytheon MP-RTIP radar, will be stationed there. The first Block 40 aircraft could arrive by July, reported the Grand Forks Herald. The high-flying Global Hawk RPA is optimized for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance. (Grand Forks report by Amn. Derek Van Horn) (Northrop release)