Spooky returns from final combat deployment
The US Air Force Special Operations Command’s last AC-130U Spooky gunship has completed its final combat deployment, the US Air Force announced on 18 July.
The aircraft will remain on alert for contingency operations until it is replaced by the AC-130J Ghostrider gunship.
The Ghostrider is equipped with a precision strike package, armed with precision-guided munitions delivery capabilities and trainable 30mm and 105mm weapons, a mission management console, robust communications suite, two electro-optical/infrared sensors and advanced fire control equipment.
AC-130Us assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron have been almost constantly deployed in support of overseas contingencies since 2001. Spooky has spent nearly a quarter century in the operational field since seeing combat for the first time in 1995.
US Air Force Col Michael Conley, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, said: ‘This begins the ending of an era for one of the most well-known aircraft in the special operations world, but it doesn’t mean our Air Commandos will be making any less of impact on the battlefield. The Ghostrider is seamlessly taking the Spooky’s position downrange. There is no rest for our enemies, and our gunships will own the night for years to come.’
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