Hoeven Amendment Seeks Larger Role for Air National Guard Units in Global Hawk UAS Mission

Measure Included in National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven has introduced an amendment that seeks to give Air National Guard units a larger role in the Global Hawk unmanned aerial systems mission. The measure has been included in the National Defense Authorization Act.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk, including its Block 20, 30 and 40 variants, is the Air Force’s high altitude, long endurance aircraft for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It is currently operated and maintained only by active duty forces, but the Air National Guard could provide a valuable adjunct to the Air Force’s regular personnel, Hoeven said.

“The North Dakota Air National Guard, for example, already operates and maintains the unmanned and armed MQ-1 Predator and does it exceptionally well,” Hoeven said. “They, and units like them, are clearly capable of taking on part of the Global Hawk mission in association with their active duty counterparts. The Pentagon has already worked to fully integrate the National Guard into the nation’s military, and providing a role for the Air National Guard in this mission is a logical move.”

Specifically, the Hoeven measure directs the Air Force to determine the feasibility of partnering the Air National Guard with the active-duty Air Force to operate and maintain the Global Hawk.