The venerable AC-130H gunship bowed-out with an eight ship formation flight marking its last mission with the 16th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB, N. M., this month. “Being able to get all eight of the AC-130H aircraft up is remarkably unique and required everyone to play a vital role,” said 16th SOS Commander Lt. Col. James Mott, after the Jan. 16 flight. The unit is retiring the legacy AC-130H as part of Air Force Special Operations Command’s transition to the new AC-130J, which is due to begin operational service in 2015. “As we close the books of the C-130H aircraft, we remember how phenomenal this plane was for more than 40 years,” Mott said. “Now we transition onto newer models of the C-130 and begin to write new chapters of Air Force history.” (Cannon report by SrA Xavier Lockley)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.