Out of the Shadow Emerges the Commando II

Air Force Special Operations Command has changed the name of its new MC-130J aircraft. Gone is Combat Shadow II. In its place is Commando II, announced command officials Thursday. “This name best reflects the multi-mission role of the aircraft and the units that will fly them,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander. It also “embodies the broader linage of special operations force aircraft,” he said. The Air Force’s original Commando was the C-46 transport that served from World War II until the late 1960s. Before settling on Commando II, AFSOC officials said they also considered Combat Arrow and Combat Knife. The MC-130J is designed to fly low-visibility, low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft. It’s also configured to infiltrate and exfiltrate politically sensitive or hostile territories in order to support special operations ground forces. Commando IIs are replacing AFSOC’s aging fleet of previous-model MC-130s. (Hurlburt report by Ashley M. Wright)