The U.S. Air Force today announced its force structure changes for fiscal 2002 and also its selection as Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the first Global Hawk main operating base. The force structure changes result in an increase of 2,844 military authorizations and another 310 civilian authorizations. Most bases received an increase in manpower authorizations to meet Expeditionary Aerospace Force requirements and to improve aircraft maintenance.
Beale was named the Air Force's preferred location as home for the Global Hawk on Jan. 19, 2001. Today's announcement follows an environmental assessment that shows the 18 unmanned aerial vehicles would not have a significant impact on the environment. The Air Force anticipates the first of the 18 primary aircraft and personnel to begin arriving at Beale in 2002 and 2003, with initial capability to support limited operations beginning in 2003.
Further information on specific authorization changes are posted at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2001/d20010727force.pdf.