Yesterday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, continued his support for our nation's defense by protecting the critical Global Hawk mission at Beale Air Force Base. Located near Marysville, California, and in Garamendi's District, Beale Air Force Base mission is Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR). The Global Hawk is an unarmed, unmanned surveillance aircraft capable of staying aloft for 30 hours and is used in North Africa, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, and Somalia, as well as for humanitarian purposes and emergencies, such as the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Earlier this year, the Air Force mistakenly issued plans to deactivate the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron, a Reserve Wing responsible for the operation of the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. In response to Congressman Garamendi's questions at today's hearing of the Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee, Lieutenant General James Jackson confirmed that this order was in error.
During the hearing, Garamendi pointed out that the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act is law and that he authored a provision of the NDAA, which mandates that the Global Hawk cannot be decommissioned or retired through all of 2014.
"The men and women at Beale Air Force Base provide invaluable intelligence for our nation's military. I am glad my office's oversight helped prevent this mistaken order from coming to fruition," said Congressman Garamendi. "I wish to also thank the Air Force for their timely cooperation with my office and in faithfully executing the law of the land."
Ever since receiving the erroneous order on the 13th Reconnaissance Squadron earlier this year, Congressman Garamendi and his office have worked with the Air Force to correct this mistake.