Japanese crowds check out a Global Hawk drone at Yokota’s annual Friendship Festival

Maj. John Wright, a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force 319th Operations Group, answers questions about the RQ-4 Global Hawk at the annual Yokota Air Base, Japan, Friendship Festival on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES
Maj. John Wright, a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force 319th Operations Group, answers questions about the RQ-4 Global Hawk at the annual Yokota Air Base, Japan, Friendship Festival on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

Japanese crowds check out a Global Hawk drone at Yokota’s annual Friendship Festival

by Seth Robson
Stars and Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Locals got a close-up look at one of America’s largest surveillance drones when the home of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force opened its doors to the public in western Tokyo over the weekend.

RQ-4B Global Hawks from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, have been operating out of Yokota over the summer to avoid inclement weather. However, the aircraft often launch and land at night, meaning they’re not that visible to people living near the base.

Those curious to see a hi-tech surveillance drone up-close had a chance to check one out at Yokota’s Japanese-American Friendship Festival.

The annual event, which attracted more than 125,000 visitors this year, according to the Air Force, gives the community a chance to learn about and meet the American and Japan Self-Defense Force servicemembers who work and live on Yokota.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.599154

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