by Airman 1st Class Stephen G. Eigel
18th Wing Public Affairs
4/22/2015 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The
17th Special Operations Squadron sent off the final two MC-130P Combat
Shadows in the Pacific Air Forces to retire April 15 here.
The 17th SOS highlighted the beginning of the MC-130P Combat Shadow
retirement with one final formation flight on Oct. 16, 2014 at Kadena
but now they have sent their last ones to the "boneyard" at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.
"Today is bittersweet as we say goodbye to these amazing aircraft," said
Lt. Col. Nathan T. Colunga, 17th Special Operations Squadron navigator
and commander. "I have spent less time in the MC-130P than most, only 11
years, but these aircraft have executed every time we've truly needed
them to over the last 50. The MC-130P's legacy will not be forgotten as
we mark this historic moment in the lineage of the 17th SOS, Air Force
Special Operations Command and the Combat Shadow community at large."
The Pacific-based Combat Shadows alone have supported more than a dozen
named operations. From combat missions in Operations Enduring Freedom
and Iraqi Freedom to humanitarian assistance disaster relief operations
across Asia, the Combat Shadow left its mark in special operations
"I have flown in the MC-130P since 2000, and it has taken me to all
corners of the globe in peacetime and in combat," said Maj. Curtis P.
Reinhart, 17th SOS navigator. "The Combat Shadow has been the workhorse
of AFSOC and it will be emotional flying it to its final resting place.
I'll be sad to see it go, but it has earned a well-deserved
From providing helicopter air-to-air refueling to conducting long-range
support of Special Operations Forces, the MC-130P Combat Shadow has
provided a critical service to the U.S. military for nearly 50 years.
The MC-130P Combat Shadows built with 1960s technology are being
replaced by the new MC-130J Commando II with cutting edge technology.