Grave Digger Dodges Death

“Grave Digger,” a 27th Special Operations Wing AC-130H gunship rolled off the flightline at Cannon AFB, N.M., directly to a retirement job on display in the base’s air park earlier this month. “The maintenance and civil engineer airmen made this happen. This was all of their efforts today; I’m just glad I had the privilege to be out here,” said Lt. Col. James Mott, 16th Special Operations Squadron commander in a release. Cannon’s 16th SOS received its first AC-130 gunships when the unit transferred from Hurlburt Field, Fla., back in 2009. AC-130H, serial number 69-6572, recently retired as part of Air Force Special Operations Command’s overall AC-130 and MC-130 fleet recapitalization. AFSOC’s first AC-130J Ghostrider gunship flew for the first time this February and the service plans to purchase a total of 32 of the new generation gunships.