Taps for USAF Spectre gunships

Feb. 6, 2014 at 2:12 PM
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CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force's AC-130H Spectre gunship, often hailed as its deadliest conventional weapon, is heading for retirement.

USAF maintainers at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico are preparing the eight remaining aircraft for mothballing, the service announced.

"Two of the eight aircraft will be static displays, one to be kept at Hurlburt Field, Fla., and the other to be kept here at Cannon," said Master Sgt. Stephen White, lead production superintendent with the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron.

The remaining six Spectre gunships will be transported to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., where they will be a part of the famed aircraft bone yard.

The AC-130H is a heavily armed, ground attack variant of the C-130 cargo plane. The gunship squadrons were part of the Air Force Special Operations Command and saw service in every U.S. conflict since the Vietnam war. They were armed with miniguns, cannons and howitzers to support and protect ground forces.

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