Thursday, July 30, 2015

New generation gunship arrives at Hurlburt

New generation gunship arrives at Hurlburt: The first Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130J gunship made a historic entrance aboard Hurlburt Field on Wednesday — complete with a flyover and taxi underneath a fire truck water arch.

The gunship, a heavily-armed, ground-attack aircraft, is one of the Air Force’s most advanced weapons. It’s known for its ability to shoot a large amount of cannon fire at night, as it’s equipped with smart bombs.

“Air Force gunships have a 50-year history of calling Northwest Florida home starting with the AC-47 Spooky gunship from Vietnam,” said Lt. Col. Brett DeAngelis, commander of the First Special Operations Group Detachment 2.

The gunships are “born” at Eglin Air Force Base, DeAngelis explained, then they come to Hurlburt Field, grow up and go off to war.

“So that’s the transition we’ve done today,” he said. “We’re bringing it from the test world and bringing it here to where combat experience operators are going to really bring out the airplane and get it right ... This was certainly a big day and it was nice to mark that transition.”