US Air Force Is Redefining Close Air Support With The AC-130U Gunship

While details are scant on the nature of the Ghostrider’s first combat mission, U.S. special operations forces have remained heavily in the fight in Afghanistan.

The AC-130J Ghostrider gunship flew its first combat mission in Afghanistan in late June, deploying to relieve the AC-130U Spooky aircraft following the latter’s final combat sorties, an Air Force Special Operations Command spokesman confirmed to The War Zone on Wednesday.

According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, which first reported the news of the combat deployment, the mission took place “just days before” the June 28 change of command ceremony for new AFSOC commander Air Force Lt. Gen. James Slife at Hurlburt Field in Florida.

According to The War Zone, the 73rd Special Operation Squadron at Hurburt is currently flying the Ghostrider in Afghanistan, likely in a close air support or armed overwatch capacity.

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