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4th Reconnaissance Squadron “Crows” return home from deployment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Saxton
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

After spending over four months deployed to Yokota Air Base, Japan, the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron “Crows” and their RQ-4 Global Hawks have returned to home station at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

The 4 RS deploys annually from Guam to Japan in order to avoid the seasonal typhoon weather commonly found in Guam during the summer season. This year, the Crows were able to fly 46 effective combat reconnaissance missions, with each sortie often exceeding 24 hours in duration.

“The Crows continue to astound me with their exceptional performance,” said Lt. Col. John C. Wright, 4 RS commander. “The quiet professionalism of these folks means they don’t brag or boast about what they do; they simply come together and get the mission done.”

Each year, the 4 RS deploys its own equipment, personnel and aircraft from Andersen AFB forward to Yokota.

The 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota hosts the 4 RS each year and provides critical additional support in the form of space, equipment, personnel and administrative support.

“The 374th Airlift Wing folks are simply the best there is,” said Wright. “We really couldn’t do what we do without them, and our relationship we’ve built over the years acts as a force multiplier out here in America’s most consequential area of responsibility.”

The 4 RS has deployed to Japan nearly every year since 2014 and have navigated difficult COVID-19 mitigation measures throughout the years. This year, Japan has slowly dialed back the severe countermeasures and the squadron successfully deployed over 80 personnel from May to October.

“After another deployment in the books, the Crows did not disappoint,” said Lt. Col. Cory Turner, 4 RS director of operations. “This year we really stepped up our moving target indicator along with our synthetic aperture radar imagery collection of our adversaries in the region. Basically, no one makes a move without us looking over their shoulder. The amount of quality ISR data we provide to the combatant command is unmatched and our annual deployment plays a huge part of making our mission so successful. That being said, the Crows are always happy when we get to migrate south and rejoin our loved ones.” 

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance remotely piloted aircraft capable of flying missions over 28 hours in duration at altitudes over 50,000 feet. The RQ-4 has been stationed at Andersen since 2010.