High Flying Domestic Spying

The U.S. Northern Command, which is responsible for domestic military operations, will be using the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft for homeland defense and drug related missions on a regular basis in the near future.

The U.S. Air Combat Command tasked a Global Hawk to fly on an official mission from Beale Air Force Base for the first time in November. Currently, Beale AFB in Northern California, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, hosts the 18th Reconnaissance Squadron, currently only operational Global Hawk squadron.

A single Global Hawk is due to be deployed to Guam next year, and the U.S. European Command will received four Global Hawks in 2010.

These are high flying domestic spies that operate at 60,000 in order to avoid commercial and civilian air traffic.


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