Hurlburt Honors the Wild Thing

Air Force Special Operations Command officials added a 47-year-old, retired MC-130E Combat Talon to the air park at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Unofficially known as “Wild Thing,” this aircraft (serial number 64-0567) has a rich past, having transported captured Panamanian dictator Manuel Noreiga in 1989 during Operation Just Cause and participated in Operation Eagle Claw, the unsuccessful attempt to rescue US hostages from Iran in 1980. Wild Thing was also the first fixed-wing aircraft to employ night-vision goggles. Retired last year with 21,337 flight hours, the repainted MC-130 now rests in the park in the colors it wore on the Iranian hostage mission. Col. Michael Plehn, 1st Special Operations Wing commander, and Col. Anthony Comtois, who leads Air Force Reserve Command’s 919th SOW, unveiled two commemorative plaques in front of the aircraft at the May 6 dedication ceremony. (Hurlburt report by SSgt. Sarah Martinez)