Kadena Bids Farewell to First of its Combat Shadows

Members of the 17th Special Operations Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan, bid farewell to the first of the unit’s legacy MC-130P aircraft as the squadron begins its transition to the new MC-130J model. This MC-130P, aircraft number 69-5825, flew to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., on July 17 to enter retirement in the Air Force’s aircraft boneyard, according to Kadena’s Aug. 1 release. The airframe had served for 44 years, amassing nearly 19,000 flying hours, states the release. “After having executed a wide variety of missions in the aircraft over the last 13 years, I have mixed emotions seeing her headed to retirement,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Kobs of the 17th SOS. He said the eventual arrival of Kadena’s MC-130Js would “usher in a new era” of special operations forces airmen and capabilities. Lockheed Martin delivered the Air Force’s first MC-130J in September 2011 to Cannon AFB, N.M. (Kadena report by TSgt. Kristine Dreyer) (See also Newest HC-130J, MC-130J Deliveries.)