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May 18, 2015

US Air Force to decommission final MC-130P Combat Shadows

The US Air Force's (USAF) final two MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft landed for the last time in Hurlburt Field, Florida, during an MC-130P heritage flight, prior to their decommissioning.

By Samseer M

MC-130P

The US Air Force’s (USAF) final two MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft landed for the last time in Hurlburt Field, Florida, during an MC-130P heritage flight, prior to their decommissioning.

The aircraft, designated 66-0217 and 69-5819, were built in 1969. They will take their last flight to the boneyard in June at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, US.

1st Special Operations wing-commander colonel Sean Farrell said: "We are truly saying goodbye to a legend.

"The Shadow’s been a warhorse for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the nation for over 25 years, and the airframes are even older. It is a legacy of valour that we are honouring today."

The MC-130P started its special operations career in the mid-1980s and received their P designation in 1996. The aircraft carried out critical air refuelling missions in the late 1980s during Operation Just Cause in Panama, and the early 1990s during Operation Desert Storm.

"The final two MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft will take their last flight to the boneyard in June at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, US."

Operations the aircraft have been involved in include Operation Desert Storm, Northern and Southern Watch, Deny Flight in Yugoslavia, Restore Democracy and Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Deliberate Force and Joint Endeavor in Bosnia.

In addition, the units were part of Assured Response in Liberia, Guardian Retrieval from Zaire, Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, and Odyssey Dawn.

The Combat Shadows are scheduled to be replaced by the MC-130J Commando II aircraft, which are being built by Lockheed Martin as part of Air Force Special Operations Command’s fleet-wide C-130 recapitalisation.


Image: Two MC-130P Combat Shadows fly by during their final flight. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Ryan Conroy.

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