The Commander of the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Force, United States Air Force Brigadier General Phillip Stewart, explains what the arrival of the first of vie RQ-4D remotely piloted aircraft at the Force’s Main Operating Base in Sigonella, Italy, means for NATO.
The aircraft took off at 10h00 local time on 20 November 2019 from Palmdale, California, and landed 22 hours later in its new home at the AGS Main Operating Base at Sigonella Air Base, Italy, according to plan. The first AGS ferry flight from the United States to Italy marks the implementation of a key multinational project for the procurement of state-of-the art remotely piloted aircraft.
AGS will be collectively owned and operated by all NATO Allies and will be a vital capability for NATO operations and missions. All Allies will have access to data acquired by AGS, and will benefit from the intelligence derived from the surveillance and reconnaissance missions that AGS will undertake.
With its ground elements, AGS is a custom-made system specifically designed to meet the surveillance requirements identified by the North Atlantic Council and SACEUR. The AGS NATO RQ-4D remotely piloted aircraft has been uniquely adapted to NATO requirements, to provide a state-of-the art Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability to NATO, to the benefit of all NATO Allies.