For the first time ever, an unmanned Global Hawk drone landed at Robins Air Force Base early on Wednesday morning.
Not only is this the first time this type of drone has landed at Robins, it's the first time it's landed at any Air Force Air Logistics Complex.
While the drone is here the current paint will be stripped, the aircraft's exterior will be smoothed out, and then it will be repainted.
The military uses these types of drones for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The drone has a wingspan of more than 130 feet and can fly for more than 30 hours at a time.
Colonel Jeffrey King is the Air Base Wing Commander at Robins and says the drone's arrival is due to years of hard work getting ready.
“It's a big deal for us because it represents a new mission set for us to work on, an opportunity to apply our skills and help the Department of Defense and Defense Industrial Base in a little bit wider area,” King said in front of the Global Hawk.
However, he said it’s up to the upper levels of Air Force command to see if drone maintenance becomes a common mission at Robins.
Global Hawk arrives at Robins Air Force Base
“We’ll see; they’re still developing the construct for program depot maintenance. Where and how that goes, well that’s kind of up to the engineers and big Air Force to balance those things out between organic and contractor,” King said Wednesday morning.
Robins has prepared for the drone and created a new launch and recovery operation.
“The fact that we have the launch and recovery element stationed here allows us to bring aircraft in. So you could say we’re positioning ourselves well should there be additional workload that they want from the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex here on Robins Air Force Base,” King explained.
King says the planned work on the aircraft will improve its operational ability and make it lighter and more fuel efficient.
Roland Leach with RAFB Public Affairs said the drone is expected to be on Base through the end of June.
The Global Hawk came to Central Georgia from Beale Air Force Base in California, its pilot is based there.