MC-130P Combat Shadow: Aircraft profile

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The Combat Shadow flies clandestine, or low visibility, single or multi-ship low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters, and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland intruding politically sensitive or hostile territories.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: US Air Force MC-130P "Shadow" from the 67th Special Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall, over South Africa.MC-130P Combat Shadow: US Air Force MC-130P "Shadow" from the 67th Special Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall, over South Africa.

The MC-130P primarily flies missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats. Its secondary mission includes the airdrop of leaflets.

Features

Recent modifications to the MC-130P feature improved navigation, communications, threat detection and countermeasures systems. The Combat Shadow fleet has a fully-integrated inertial navigation and global positioning system, and night vision goggle compatible interior and exterior lighting. It also has forward looking infrared, radar and missile warning receivers, chaff and flare dispensers, night vision goggle compatible heads-up display, satellite and data-burst communications, as well as in-flight refueling capability as a receiver (on 14 aircraft).

MC-130P Combat Shadow: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Danny S. Mullins, a flight engineer with the 17th Special Operations Squadron, checks the aircraft instruments on a MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft during a preflight inspection in preparation for a helicopter air-refueling mission at Kadena Air Base, Japan, June 29, 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Maritza Freeland) (Released)MC-130P Combat Shadow: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Danny S. Mullins, a flight engineer with the 17th Special Operations Squadron, checks the aircraft instruments on a MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft during a preflight inspection in preparation for a helicopter air-refueling mission at Kadena Air Base, Japan, June 29, 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Maritza Freeland) (Released)

The Combat Shadow can fly in the day against a low threat. The crews fly night low-level, air refueling and formation operations using night vision goggles. To enhance the probability of mission success and survivability near populated areas, employment tactics incorporate no external lighting and no communications to avoid radar and weapons detection.

Background

MC-130Ps were previously designated HC-130N/P. However, the "H" designation is a rescue and recovery mission code and not representative of the aircraft's special operations role. In February 1996, Air Force Special Operations Command's tanker fleet was redesignated MC-130P aircraft, aligning the Combat Shadow with other M-series special operations mission aircraft. Combat Shadows have been part of the special operations mission since the mid-1980s. They provided critical air refueling to Army and Air Force helicopters during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. In 1990, the aircraft deployed to Saudi Arabia and Turkey for Operation Desert Storm and provided air refueling of special operations helicopters over friendly and hostile territory.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow refuels a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion. The MC-130P flies clandestine or low visibility, low-level missions into politically sensitive or hostile territory to provide air refueling for special operations helicopters. The MC-130P primarily flies its single- or multi-ship missions at night to reduce detection and intercept by airborne threats. Secondary mission capabilities include airdrop of small special operations teams, small bundles, and zodiac and combat rubber raiding craft; as well as night-vision goggle takeoffs and landings, tactical airborne radar approaches and in-flight refueling as a receiver. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Eric C. Tausch)MC-130P Combat Shadow: An Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow refuels a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion. The MC-130P flies clandestine or low visibility, low-level missions into politically sensitive or hostile territory to provide air refueling for special operations helicopters. The MC-130P primarily flies its single- or multi-ship missions at night to reduce detection and intercept by airborne threats. Secondary mission capabilities include airdrop of small special operations teams, small bundles, and zodiac and combat rubber raiding craft; as well as night-vision goggle takeoffs and landings, tactical airborne radar approaches and in-flight refueling as a receiver. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Eric C. Tausch)

Since Desert Storm, the MC-130P has been involved in many operations: Northern and Southern Watch, Deny Flight in Yugoslavia, Restore Democracy and Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Deliberate Force and Joint Endeavor in Bosnia, Assured Response in Liberia, Guardian Retrieval from Zaire, Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom.

The Combat Shadow has supported and participated in numerous evacuations, and search and humanitarian relief operations missions, and continues this support today.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: U.S. Air Force pararescuemen jump freefall from an MC-130P Hercules aircraft at 13,000 feet over Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, Sept. 11, 2006. They are carrying American flags in memory of those who were lost on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sean M. Worrell) (Released)MC-130P Combat Shadow: U.S. Air Force pararescuemen jump freefall from an MC-130P Hercules aircraft at 13,000 feet over Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, Sept. 11, 2006. They are carrying American flags in memory of those who were lost on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sean M. Worrell) (Released)

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Air refueling for special operation forces helicopters
Builder: Lockheed
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4,910 shaft horsepower each engine
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Length: 98 feet, 9 inches (30.09 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Speed: 289 mph (at sea level)
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Range: Beyond 4,000 miles
Crew: Two pilots and two navigators (officers); flight engineer, communications systems operator and two loadmasters (enlisted)
Date Deployed: 1986
Unit Cost: $75 million (fiscal 2001 dollars)
Inventory: Active force, 23; Reserve, 0; ANG, 4

Source: USAF

MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow, 17th Special Operation Squadron (SOS), 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG), Kadena Air Base (AB), Japan, takes off for an airdrop mission from Clark Airfield, Philippines, during exercise PISTON BALANCE 03-5. The joint exercise designed to improve the interoperability and tactical proficiency of the armed forces between the US and the Philippines.MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow, 17th Special Operation Squadron (SOS), 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG), Kadena Air Base (AB), Japan, takes off for an airdrop mission from Clark Airfield, Philippines, during exercise PISTON BALANCE 03-5. The joint exercise designed to improve the interoperability and tactical proficiency of the armed forces between the US and the Philippines.

More information:

Source: wikipedia.org

The MC-130P series of aircraft started life as HC-130P rescue aircraft, but due to funding issues were redesignated after transferring to AFSOC. The Combat Shadow flies single or multi-ship low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters, and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland. The MC-130P primarily flies missions at night to reduce probability of visual acquisition and intercept by airborne threats.[5] The MC-130P has been continuously active in combat operations since Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) supporting coalition and joint special operation forces throughout the world. There are three operational squadrons: 9th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) Eglin AFB, FL; 67 SOS RAF Mildenhall, England; and 17 SOS, Kadena AB, Okinawa Japan.

More photos:

MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft assigned to 67th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) flies over the rural terrain in Central Mozambique, South Africa on its way to perform a reconnaissance mission to support Operation ATLAS RESPONSE. The Operation is a Humanitarian Aid Operation directed by the US European Command (USEUCOM) to help the people of Mozambique, after severe flooding displaced over a million people from their homes.MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft assigned to 67th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) flies over the rural terrain in Central Mozambique, South Africa on its way to perform a reconnaissance mission to support Operation ATLAS RESPONSE. The Operation is a Humanitarian Aid Operation directed by the US European Command (USEUCOM) to help the people of Mozambique, after severe flooding displaced over a million people from their homes.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft assigned to 67th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) refuels a USAF MH-53J Pave Low IV helicopter from the 21st SOS. Both Squadrons are deployed to Air Force Base Hoedspruit, South Africa, to support Operation ATLAS RESPONSE. The Operation is a Humanitarian Aid Operation directed by the US European Command (USEUCOM) to help the people of Mozambique, after severe flooding displaced over a million people from their homes.MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft assigned to 67th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) refuels a USAF MH-53J Pave Low IV helicopter from the 21st SOS. Both Squadrons are deployed to Air Force Base Hoedspruit, South Africa, to support Operation ATLAS RESPONSE. The Operation is a Humanitarian Aid Operation directed by the US European Command (USEUCOM) to help the people of Mozambique, after severe flooding displaced over a million people from their homes.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An aerial view of a US Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft refueling a MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. The photo was taken from inside the cockpit and over the pilotÕs shoulder of an unidentified aircraft. From Airman Magazine, July 2000 article "Front Cover."MC-130P Combat Shadow: An aerial view of a US Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft refueling a MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. The photo was taken from inside the cockpit and over the pilotÕs shoulder of an unidentified aircraft. From Airman Magazine, July 2000 article "Front Cover."

MC-130P Combat Shadow front: Right side front view medium long aerial shot as a US Air Force MC-130P "Shadow" from the 67th Special Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall, flies over South Africa on its way to perform a reconnaissance mission of damaged roads in Central Mozambique after departing from Air Force Base Hoedspruit, South Africa, where they are deployed in support of Operation Atlas Response. Operation Atlas Response is a multi-national humanitarian relief mission helping displaced people in Central and Southern Mozambique that have been devastated by recent floods (Floods and victims not shown).MC-130P Combat Shadow front: Right side front view medium long aerial shot as a US Air Force MC-130P "Shadow" from the 67th Special Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall, flies over South Africa on its way to perform a reconnaissance mission of damaged roads in Central Mozambique after departing from Air Force Base Hoedspruit, South Africa, where they are deployed in support of Operation Atlas Response. Operation Atlas Response is a multi-national humanitarian relief mission helping displaced people in Central and Southern Mozambique that have been devastated by recent floods (Floods and victims not shown).

MC-130P Combat Shadow: US Air Force Major Jeff Waldman, Pilot, and US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rohekohr, co-pilot, from the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard, Moffett Federal Field, fly an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft above the Pacific Ocean during a training rescue operation. The 129th is one of only three Rescue units in the ANG, and the only one on the west coast.MC-130P Combat Shadow: US Air Force Major Jeff Waldman, Pilot, and US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rohekohr, co-pilot, from the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard, Moffett Federal Field, fly an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft above the Pacific Ocean during a training rescue operation. The 129th is one of only three Rescue units in the ANG, and the only one on the west coast.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico is given preflight inspection by a member of the crew. From Airman Magazine, July 2000 article "Front Cover".MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico is given preflight inspection by a member of the crew. From Airman Magazine, July 2000 article "Front Cover".

MC-130P Combat Shadow: United States Air Force (USAF) Pararescuemen from the 106th Rescue Wing (RW), North Hampton Beach, Long Island, New York, discuss emergency options just before their jump mission on the cargo ramp of an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the 347th Rescue Wing (RW), 71st Rescue Squadron (RS) out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.MC-130P Combat Shadow: United States Air Force (USAF) Pararescuemen from the 106th Rescue Wing (RW), North Hampton Beach, Long Island, New York, discuss emergency options just before their jump mission on the cargo ramp of an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the 347th Rescue Wing (RW), 71st Rescue Squadron (RS) out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P from the 67th Special Operations Squadron and two MH-53J from the 21st Special Operations Squadron demonstrate an aerial refueling over RAF Mildenhall during a practice for the base's Annual Air Fete for 2001. Hosted by the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Air Fete is Europe's largest military sponsored air show, with an expected audience of more than 300,000. This year's theme is "Silver Wings," as the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year.MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P from the 67th Special Operations Squadron and two MH-53J from the 21st Special Operations Squadron demonstrate an aerial refueling over RAF Mildenhall during a practice for the base's Annual Air Fete for 2001. Hosted by the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Air Fete is Europe's largest military sponsored air show, with an expected audience of more than 300,000. This year's theme is "Silver Wings," as the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P from the 67th Special Operations Squadron and an MH-53J from the 21st Special Operations Squadron demonstrate an aerial refueling over Ely, Cambridgeshire, during a practice for the RAF Mildenhall's Annual Air Fete for 2001. Hosted by the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Air Fete is Europe's largest military sponsored air show, with an expected audience of more than 300,000. This year's theme is "Silver Wings," as the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year.MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P from the 67th Special Operations Squadron and an MH-53J from the 21st Special Operations Squadron demonstrate an aerial refueling over Ely, Cambridgeshire, during a practice for the RAF Mildenhall's Annual Air Fete for 2001. Hosted by the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Air Fete is Europe's largest military sponsored air show, with an expected audience of more than 300,000. This year's theme is "Silver Wings," as the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P from the 67th Special Operations Squadron and an MH-53J from the 21st Special Operations Squadron demonstrate an aerial refueling over RAF Mildenhall during a practice for the base's Annual Air Fete for 2001. Hosted by the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Air Fete is Europe's largest military sponsored air show, with an expected audience of more than 300,000. This year's theme is "Silver Wings," as the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year.MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P from the 67th Special Operations Squadron and an MH-53J from the 21st Special Operations Squadron demonstrate an aerial refueling over RAF Mildenhall during a practice for the base's Annual Air Fete for 2001. Hosted by the 100th Air Refueling Wing, Air Fete is Europe's largest military sponsored air show, with an expected audience of more than 300,000. This year's theme is "Silver Wings," as the show will celebrate its 25th Anniversary this year.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat shadow aircraft and MC-130H Combat Talon aircraft assigned to the 550th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) prepare for take off during a readiness exercise at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico (NM).MC-130P Combat Shadow: US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat shadow aircraft and MC-130H Combat Talon aircraft assigned to the 550th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) prepare for take off during a readiness exercise at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico (NM).

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the 347th Rescue Wing (RW), 71st Rescue Squadron (RS) out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, starts engines by direction of the crew chief, while the ground crew disconnects the Auxiliary Ground Power Unit (AGPU).MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft from the 347th Rescue Wing (RW), 71st Rescue Squadron (RS) out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, starts engines by direction of the crew chief, while the ground crew disconnects the Auxiliary Ground Power Unit (AGPU).

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An unidentified US Air Force (USAF) Flight Crew Technician assigned to the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS), oversees the engine start on a USAF MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft at Incirlik Air Base (AB), Turkey, while deployed in support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH.MC-130P Combat Shadow: An unidentified US Air Force (USAF) Flight Crew Technician assigned to the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS), oversees the engine start on a USAF MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft at Incirlik Air Base (AB), Turkey, while deployed in support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft assigned to the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS), taxies onto the flight line at Incirlik Air Base (AB), Turkey, for a mission in support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH.MC-130P Combat Shadow: An US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft assigned to the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS), taxies onto the flight line at Incirlik Air Base (AB), Turkey, for a mission in support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 56th Rescue Squadron (RS), Naval Air Station (NAS) Keflavik, Iceland (ISL), prepares for aerial refueling from a Special Operations Combat Shadow MC-130P Hercules aircraft, from Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall, during an evacuation mission at the US Embassy, in Monrovia, Liberia (LBR). The 398th Air Expeditionary Group (AEG), is currently in Lungi, Sierra Leone (SLE) to provide personnel recovery and emergency evacuation capability for the Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team (HAST) and the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) in LBR.MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 56th Rescue Squadron (RS), Naval Air Station (NAS) Keflavik, Iceland (ISL), prepares for aerial refueling from a Special Operations Combat Shadow MC-130P Hercules aircraft, from Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall, during an evacuation mission at the US Embassy, in Monrovia, Liberia (LBR). The 398th Air Expeditionary Group (AEG), is currently in Lungi, Sierra Leone (SLE) to provide personnel recovery and emergency evacuation capability for the Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team (HAST) and the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) in LBR.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow, 17th Special Operation Squadron (SOS), 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG), Kadena Air Base (AB), Japan, takes off for an airdrop mission from Clark Airfield, Philippines, during exercise PISTON BALANCE 03-5. The joint exercise designed to improve the interoperability and tactical proficiency of the armed forces between the US and the Philippines.MC-130P Combat Shadow: A US Air Force (USAF) MC-130P Combat Shadow, 17th Special Operation Squadron (SOS), 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG), Kadena Air Base (AB), Japan, takes off for an airdrop mission from Clark Airfield, Philippines, during exercise PISTON BALANCE 03-5. The joint exercise designed to improve the interoperability and tactical proficiency of the armed forces between the US and the Philippines.

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P aircraft prepares to depart Au Tipao, Thailand, May 16, 2006, for a mission in support of exercise Cobra Gold. The exercise is a combined annual joint training exercise involving the United States, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Roy A. Santana) (Released)MC-130P Combat Shadow: An MC-130P aircraft prepares to depart Au Tipao, Thailand, May 16, 2006, for a mission in support of exercise Cobra Gold. The exercise is a combined annual joint training exercise involving the United States, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Roy A. Santana) (Released)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron exfil a humvee out of an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Nov. 16, 2006. The Airmen are participating in events for the multipurpose ceremony celebrating the arrival the CV-22 Osprey helicopter as well as the heritage of the Air Commandos and the Air Force's 60th birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali E. Flisek) (Released)MC-130P Combat Shadow: U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron exfil a humvee out of an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Nov. 16, 2006. The Airmen are participating in events for the multipurpose ceremony celebrating the arrival the CV-22 Osprey helicopter as well as the heritage of the Air Commandos and the Air Force's 60th birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ali E. Flisek) (Released)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: UDON THANI, Thailand -- An MC-130P Combat Shadow from the 17th Special Operations Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, begins its takeoff roll on the runway here. People from the 353rd Special Operations Group recently deployed to Thailand for Cobra Gold 2003, a multination, multiservice exercise designed to ensure regional peace, strengthen the ability of the Thai armed forces and demonstrate U.S. resolve in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Henderson)MC-130P Combat Shadow: UDON THANI, Thailand -- An MC-130P Combat Shadow from the 17th Special Operations Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, begins its takeoff roll on the runway here. People from the 353rd Special Operations Group recently deployed to Thailand for Cobra Gold 2003, a multination, multiservice exercise designed to ensure regional peace, strengthen the ability of the Thai armed forces and demonstrate U.S. resolve in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Henderson)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: An Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow refuels a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion. The MC-130P flies clandestine or low visibility, low-level missions into politically sensitive or hostile territory to provide air refueling for special operations helicopters. The MC-130P primarily flies its single- or multi-ship missions at night to reduce detection and intercept by airborne threats. Secondary mission capabilities include airdrop of small special operations teams, small bundles, and zodiac and combat rubber raiding craft; as well as night-vision goggle takeoffs and landings, tactical airborne radar approaches and in-flight refueling as a receiver. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Eric C. Tausch)MC-130P Combat Shadow: An Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow refuels a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion. The MC-130P flies clandestine or low visibility, low-level missions into politically sensitive or hostile territory to provide air refueling for special operations helicopters. The MC-130P primarily flies its single- or multi-ship missions at night to reduce detection and intercept by airborne threats. Secondary mission capabilities include airdrop of small special operations teams, small bundles, and zodiac and combat rubber raiding craft; as well as night-vision goggle takeoffs and landings, tactical airborne radar approaches and in-flight refueling as a receiver. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Eric C. Tausch)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: OVER SOUTH AFRICA -- An MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopter from the 21st Special Operations Squadron, refuels from an MC-130P Combat Shadow from the 67th Special Operations Squadron. Both Squadrons are from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, and deployed to Air Force Base Hoedspruit, South Africa, to support Operation Atlas Response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cary Humphries)MC-130P Combat Shadow: OVER SOUTH AFRICA -- An MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopter from the 21st Special Operations Squadron, refuels from an MC-130P Combat Shadow from the 67th Special Operations Squadron. Both Squadrons are from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, and deployed to Air Force Base Hoedspruit, South Africa, to support Operation Atlas Response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cary Humphries)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: LUNGI, Sierra Leone -- An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter prepares for aerial refueling from an Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow after a evacuation mission into the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, on July 28. The 398th Air Expeditionary Group is currently in Sierra Leone to provide personnel recovery and emergency evacuation capability for the humanitarian assistance survey team and the fleet antiterrorism security team in Liberia. The HH-60G is from the 56th Rescue Squadron at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, and the MC-130P is from the 352nd Special Operations Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)MC-130P Combat Shadow: LUNGI, Sierra Leone -- An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter prepares for aerial refueling from an Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow after a evacuation mission into the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, on July 28. The 398th Air Expeditionary Group is currently in Sierra Leone to provide personnel recovery and emergency evacuation capability for the humanitarian assistance survey team and the fleet antiterrorism security team in Liberia. The HH-60G is from the 56th Rescue Squadron at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, and the MC-130P is from the 352nd Special Operations Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: LUNGI, Sierra Leone -- An Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow lands here with supplies and people headed for the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia on July 28. The aircraft is assigned to the 352nd Special Operations Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. The 398th Air Expeditionary Group is here to provide personnel recovery and emergency evacuation capability for the humanitarian assistance survey team and the fleet antiterrorism security team in Liberia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)MC-130P Combat Shadow: LUNGI, Sierra Leone -- An Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow lands here with supplies and people headed for the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia on July 28. The aircraft is assigned to the 352nd Special Operations Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. The 398th Air Expeditionary Group is here to provide personnel recovery and emergency evacuation capability for the humanitarian assistance survey team and the fleet antiterrorism security team in Liberia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: LANGKAWI, Malaysia -- An MC-130P Combat Shadow from Kadena Air Base, Japan, takes off from here Jan 14. Crews from Kadena's 17th Special Operations Squadron fly into Indonesia daily, shuttling humanitarian relief supplies into Banda Aceh. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)MC-130P Combat Shadow: LANGKAWI, Malaysia -- An MC-130P Combat Shadow from Kadena Air Base, Japan, takes off from here Jan 14. Crews from Kadena's 17th Special Operations Squadron fly into Indonesia daily, shuttling humanitarian relief supplies into Banda Aceh. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)

MC-130P Combat Shadow: OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN -- A 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot moves in to refuel from an MC-130P Combat Shadow during water rescue training Sept. 13 among the 55th, 79th and 48th Rescue Squadrons from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lanie McNeal)MC-130P Combat Shadow: OVER THE PACIFIC OCEAN -- A 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot moves in to refuel from an MC-130P Combat Shadow during water rescue training Sept. 13 among the 55th, 79th and 48th Rescue Squadrons from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lanie McNeal)

More photos: MC-130P Combat Shadow photo gallery

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