After having spent years underground, USAF's first Ghostrider has emerged
Whilst on a test flight from Eglin AFB (FL) in April 2015, USAF's first AC-130J Ghostrider with serial number 09-5710 (construction number 382-5710), assigned to the 413th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing, became unserviceable after having pulled to many G's.
Being delivered in December 2019 on flatbed trailers to the 58th Training Squadron at Kirtland AFB (NM), AC-130J 5710's aircraft body has now been turned into an Enhanced Fuselage Trainer (EFuT).
On 15 January 2021, Col. Michael Curry, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, and Lt. Col. Benjamin Bryant, 58th Training Squadron commander, cut a ceremonial ribbon at Kirtland, officially welcoming the Enhanced Fuselage Trainer. It is expected that the new, one-of-a-kind, C-130 ground-based device, affectively abbreviated "EFuT", will provide highly realistic simulation capabilities enabling training for approximately 200 MC-130J and HC-130J loadmasters and special mission aviators annually.
It was stated that the C-130 aircraft's body is “enhanced” because it’s connected to the instructor operator station, the structure that houses the control room and computer systems. After the mishap in 2015, effectively ruling out that the Ghostrider would fly again, the EFuT project has been a huge undertaking costing USD 19 million.
Officially unveil a training device that is almost six years in the making, EFuT represents what this facility is all about. A facility that is dedicated to quality training of USAF's career enlisted aviators. 5710 has been installed in a World War II hangar on the Kirtland’s west side, a 58th TRS facility known as “The Monster Garage.”