Three Air National Guard units took on the Air Force’s high-altitude unmanned intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance mission April 1 at Beale AFB, Calif. During a ceremony, the California ANG established the 222nd Operational Support Squadron and 222nd Communications Maintenance Flight and redesignated the 222nd Combat Communications Squadron, formerly at Costa Mesa, Calif., as the 222nd Intelligence Support Squadron. All three will be engaged in operations of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. At the event, Maj. Gen. Dennis Lucas, commander of the California ANG, said the move of the 222nd to Beale is part of a larger plan to integrate ANG units with active-duty forces and away from older missions into newer assignments. Beale is USAF’s first home for the Global Hawk; RQ-4s operating in Southwest Asia are controlled from Beale using satellite communications links. “Global Hawk is a growing mission in the Air Force, and we are excited to be here taking part in it as it continues to develop and unfold,” said CMSgt. Eric Rivera, 222nd ISS superintendent. (Includes Beale report by SrA. George Cloutier)
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.