Helping Determine The Extent Of Damage, Locate Potential
An RQ-4 Global Hawk is providing imagery to determine the extent
of damage to earthquake-stricken Haiti and usability of its
infrastructure, an Air Force official said during a Department of
Defense Bloggers Roundtable January 15. "A lot of images of
destroyed buildings," said Col. Bradley G. Butz, the 480th
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing vice
Photo Courtesy U.S. Air Force
They are looking at images of airports
to find airfields to land aircraft, he added. The image quality and
clarity is good enough whether or not an airfield can accept
aircraft. "We've got pretty good coverage of the entire country of
Haiti," Colonel Butz said.
The Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned
aircraft with an integrated sensor suite that provides worldwide
The 480th ISR, based at Langley Air Force Base, VA, is providing
its images to U.S. Southern Command officials for use by whomever
needs the images, Colonel Butz said. The objective is mass
distribution to people and organizations that need the images to
support relief and recovery operations.
These images can help determine the level of destruction since
aerial images of Haiti exist from June 2009. Comparing the June
2009 and the January 2010 can give an indication of the extent of
the disaster. Without context "we just don't know the impact," the
In addition, the Global Hawk provides assistance to Soldiers of
the 82nd Airborne Division who are deploying to Haiti. The Global
Hawk is providing images of where the Soldiers are deploying to
help them prepare for their mission, Colonel Butz said.
The Global Hawk flew 14 hours January
14, providing between 400 to 700 images, the colonel said. It is
flying daily out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD. The
colonel said the Global Hawk will continue providing Haitian
overflight support as long as the president requests.
This is the first use of the Global Hawk in a disaster relief
mission in the Caribbean, according to the colonel.