On 2 November 2022, USAF's Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) received its 31st and final Lockheed Martin AC-130J Ghostrider at Cannon AFB (NM). This, completing the command’s transition from the legacy AC-130W, AC-130U and AC-130H "Gunship" fleets.
Following the Ghostrider Dedication and Delivery Ceremony at Bob Sikes Airport near Crestview (FL), AC-130J with serial number 19-5926, was directly flown to Cannon to be part of the 27th Special Operations Wing's inventory.
Strikingly, 19-5926 has been named "Sluggo". This, in honour of Mr. Stan "Sluggo" Siefke who was one of the key persons in the developments of the Gunship's precision strike package prior to cutting first metal on the Legacy M/AC-130W Stinger-II. The first modifications on the Stinger-II, and later the Ghostrider, were significant for todays whole project.
With multiple AFSOC squadrons based, Cannon AFB is clearly on a new rise. Having operated CC coded fast jets, like the F-111 and F-16, in the past, the 27th Special Operations Wing has adapted its commitment to AFSOC's deployment model. At the beginning of October 2022, the 6th Special Operations Squadron, previously the 27th Special Operations Group Detachment 1, operating MC-130J Commando IIs, was officially reassigned to Cannon.
Photo by USAF