Danish policy makers take a close look at the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk at Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Sicily, with Embassy Copenhagen on a NATO tour in late April. The unmanned and unarmed Global Hawk is used as a high-altitude platform for surveillance and security. From 2016 the Global Hawk will be NATO’s new “eye in the sky.” The tour also included briefings at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and a regional NATO headquarters in Brunssum in the Netherlands. Italy’s Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily was the last stop on the tour.
Denmark also has other NATO ties to Sigonella Naval Air Station. In 2011, Danish F-16s flew a total of 43 missions over Libya during the U.S.-led operation Odyssey Dawn before switching to NATO command under operation Unified Protector. Danish F-16s flew the last fast-jet mission of operation Unified Protector on 31 October 2011 finishing with a total of 599 missions flown during the entire Libya intervention. This photo shows the Danish policy makers in front of the Danish center of operations at Sigonella – the center displays the Dannebrog to this day as a memorial that Denmark was “first on the scene.”