Out of the Shadows

The two remaining MC-130P Combat Shadow special-mission aircraft in the Air Force’s Active Duty inventory conducted their final flights at Hurlburt Field, Fla., before they head off into retirement early next month, according to a base r?elease. The two 1960s-vintage airplanes, serial numbers 66-0217 and 69-5819, performed in front of more than 400 spectators during the May 15 heritage flight, states the release. “Today is bittersweet,” said Col. Sean Farrell, commander of Hurlburt’s 1st Special Operations Wing. “We are truly saying goodbye to a legend. The Shadow’s been a warhorse for [Air Force Special Operations Command] and [US Special Operations Command] and the nation for over 25 years, and the airframes are even older,” he said. The two MC-130Ps are scheduled to depart on June 1 for Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., for retirement in the Air Force’s aircraft boneyard. The Air Force is acquiring a force of new-build MC-130J Commando II airplanes to replace it legacy MC-130Ps and MC-130H Combat Talon IIs. The California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield continues to operate four MC-130Ps. (See also Last Pacific MC-130Ps Head to the Boneyard.)