May 20, 2014

USAF assisting search for missing girls in Nigeria

The Air Force is flying manned MC-12W Liberty and unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance sorties over Nigeria to assist in locating more than 200 girls kidnapped by militants.
The Nigerian government requested the flights.
On April 15, the militant group Boko Haram kidnapped the girls from their school. The group said it is open to exchanging the students for the release of terrorists imprisoned in Nigeria.
The Defense Department has sent more than 10 personnel to the country to help with the search. The troops are trained in intelligence, communications and logistics.
The Defense Department would not release the number of sorties or the specific origin of the flights “due to operational security concerns.
The department is not sharing the intelligence directly with the Nigerian government.
The MC-12W Liberty manned aircraft is a modified Hawker Beechcraft Super King Air 350 outfitted with sensors and cameras. The aircraft has seen extensive use in Afghanistan. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is the Air Force’s largest remotely piloted aircraft, and has been deployed to provide high-altitude surveillance. Global Hawks have deployed to the Middle East and flown “treaty verification” missions in the Middle East.

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