KADENA AIR BASE, Japan –
The 17th Special Operations Squadron sent off the final two MC-130P Combat
Shadows in the Pacific Air Forces to retire on April 15 here.
SOS highlighted the beginning of the MC-130P Combat Shadow retirement with one
final formation flight on Oct. 16, 2014 at Kadena but now they have sent their
last ones to the "boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
is bittersweet as we say goodbye to these amazing aircraft," said Lt. Col.
Nathan T. Colunga, 17th Special Operations Squadron navigator and commander. "I
have spent less time in the MC-130P than most, only 11 years, but these aircraft
have executed every time we've truly needed them to over the last 50. The
MC-130P's legacy will not be forgotten as we mark this historic moment in the
lineage of the 17th SOS, Air Force Special Operations Command and the Combat
Shadow community at large."
The Pacific-based Combat Shadows alone have
supported more than a dozen named operations. From combat missions in Operations
Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom to humanitarian assistance disaster relief
operations across Asia, the Combat Shadow left its mark in special operations
"I have flown in the MC-130P since 2000, and it has taken me to
all corners of the globe in peacetime and in combat," said Maj. Curtis P.
Reinhart, 17th SOS navigator. "The Combat Shadow has been the workhorse of AFSOC
and it will be emotional flying it to its final resting place. I'll be sad to
see it go, but it has earned a well-deserved retirement."
helicopter air-to-air refueling to conducting long-range support of Special
Operations Forces, the MC-130P Combat Shadow has provided a critical service to
the U.S. military for nearly 50 years.
The MC-130P Combat Shadows built
with 1960s technology are being replaced by the new MC-130J Commando II with
cutting edge technology.