May 9, 2000: RQ-4A Global Hawk Took Part in its First Linked Seas Exercise

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  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The RQ-4A Global Hawk took part in its first Linked Seas Exercise, flying from Eglin AFB, Florida, to Portugal and back during the course of a 28-hour sortie. A second mission, lasting 14.1 hours, was completed on 11-12 May 2000.

Linked Seas, an exercise held every three years, focuses on NATO's ability to form, work up and employ maritime assets in response to regional crises.  Joint U.S. forces joined with troops from 11 other nations during Exercise Linked Seas 1997, a NATO exercise, which took place May 5 - 19 in Spain, Portugal and surrounding waters. This exercise focused on peace support operations carried out by a multinational maritime force, along with air and land operations. The scenario is based upon a crisis between two fictional countries whose cease fire lines are supervised by a NATO land force. The multinational maritime force is introduced into the area to defuse the crisis and ensure the safety of the NATO land force on the cease-fire line. NATO forces from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States participated. Brazil also participated with the approval of the North Atlantic Council.  More than 160 people and three B-52 bombers joined the 16th Air Force Expeditionary Group supporting the NATO exercise Linked Seas at Moron Air Base, Spain. As part of the 16th AEG, which stood up April 28, Minot's 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron demonstrated the B-52's versatility during the Linked Seas exercise. The bombers dropped Mark 52 mines, practiced Harpoon anti-ship missile tactics, provided electronic countermeasures and participated in surveillance missions.


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