A Global Hawk based in Guam, is currently flying above Japan gathering imagery to help the Japanese Government direct its aid programme.
The UAS has been deployed exclusively in relief efforts at the request of the Japanese government, according to a U.S. Forces spokesman. A similar mission was flown last year at the time of the Haiti crisis. The UAS, which has been stationed in Guam since September is flying aerial surveillance missions in support of earthquake and tsunami relief operations as part of a U.S. support programme that could involve several hundred American military personnel and up to 13 ships.
Images collected by the Global Hawk will be used the Japanese assess damage as well as providing logistical information such as functional ports or landing sites that could be used for relief.