RQ-4 Surpasses 30K Combat Hours

On Feb. 11, an RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle reached 30,000 combat hours. The day before, the RQ-4 flew the 1,500th combat sortie, reaching 29,999.4 hours. So, said lead aircraft maintenance officer Capt. Michelle Campbell, “on our very next sortie the next night, as soon as the Hawk cleared the airfield, that’s when we reached 30,000.” The RQ-4, with teams deployed from home base at Beale AFB, Calif., has operated over Southwest Asia since October 2001. SMSgt. Timothy Green, deployed aircraft maintenance unit superintendent, credits the “young men and women of the Hawk AMU” because, he said, “maintaining an aircraft this new has many challenges.” He added that the AMU airmen working with Northrop Grumman field reps “were able to set record maintenance rates to include two-plus years without a single cancellation for maintenance.” Campbell agreed, saying they are doing “an absolutely awesome job.” (380th Air Expeditionary Wing report by MSgt. Scott Sturkol)