Members of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, N.M., gathered to officially welcome the MC-130 Combat Talon I that is now on static display near the base’s front entrance, according to a base release. This aircraft, tail number 64-0523, has a distinguished past, having led the Son Tay Raid to free US prisoners of war in North Vietnam in November 1970. “By displaying a proven special operations legend at the Cannon Air Force Base front gate, aircrews can see and realize the true spirit and proud tradition of the Son Tay Raid from so long ago,” said retired Maj. William Guenon, copilot on the raid, during the June 28 welcoming ceremony. The Air Force retired this airframe in June 2012. While the raiding party found no POWs at Son Tay, the raid boosted the spirits of the POWs held elsewhere in North Vietnam when word spread because it showed that the United States had not forsaken them, states Cannon’s July 2 release. (Cannon report by SrA. Jette Carr) (See also The Son Tay Raid from Air Force Magazine’s archives.)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.