- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2014

The U.S. Air Force sent two of its top-tech, long-distanced drones to a military base in Japan to keep better surveillance tabs on North Korea and China, particularly when those countries conduct sea-based operations.

The unarmed Global Hawk drone deployments sends a strong message of the White House’s intentions to shift its security focus to the Pacific and on Asia. China and North Korea aren’t likely to be pleased with the decision, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. Forces Japan commander, Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, said Friday that current plans call for the drones to stay on the deployment until at least October. After that, typhoon season might make it difficult for the drones to operate well, he said, AP reported.

He also declined to comment on specific missions the drones would be sent on, noting only that the Global Hawk’s “capabilities are well known,” AP reported.

The Global Hawk can conduct long-range missions at a flight level of 60,000 feet and can “loiter” at one site for 24 hours or more, AP reported. From the base in Japan, the drones will be able to conduct surveillance on North Korea’s nuclear sites, and on China and North Korea’s naval missions.

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