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First AC-130U Spooky retires

Master Sgt. Sawn Kegley, 19th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, runs a preflight check during the first AC-130U Spooky retirement at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. On July 21, 2011, “Bad Omen” had one of its most successful sorties over Afghanistan. The aircraft arrived on station to support a task force that was infiltrating a compound area when the task force started taking fire from all sides. The gunship began to take direct action, and true to “U” model form, the crew performed eight separate engagements using infrared and TV dual-target attacks firing 146, 40mm cannon rounds and 41, 105mm howitzer rounds to end the engagement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

Master Sgt. Sawn Kegley, 19th Special Operations Squadron flight engineer, runs a preflight check during the first AC-130U Spooky retirement at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. On July 21, 2011, “Bad Omen” had one of its most successful sorties over Afghanistan. The aircraft arrived on station to support a task force that was infiltrating a compound area when the task force started taking fire from all sides. The gunship began to take direct action, and true to “U” model form, the crew performed eight separate engagements using infrared and TV dual-target attacks firing 146 40mm cannon rounds and 41 105mm cannon rounds to end the engagement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

Airman First Class Joshua Hornbrook, 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant crew chief, inspects an AC-130U Spooky before its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. Tail number 0163, “Bad Omen,” was retired Sept. 21, 2015, after more than 20 years of service. “Bad Omen” last deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in December 2013 where it accumulated approximately 600 combat hours and flew more than 100 sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

Airman First Class Joshua Hornbrook, 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant crew chief, inspects an AC-130U Spooky before its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. Tail number 0163, “Bad Omen,” was retired Sept. 21, 2015, after more than 20 years of service. “Bad Omen” last deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in December 2013 where it accumulated approximately 600 combat hours and flew more than 100 sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

Airmen with the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron render a final salute to an AC-130U Spooky before its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. Tail number 0163, “Bad Omen,” was retired Sept. 21, 2015, after more than 20 years of service. “Bad Omen” last deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in December 2013 where it accumulated approximately 600 combat hours and flew more than 100 sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

Airmen with the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron render a final salute to an AC-130U Spooky before its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. Tail number 0163, “Bad Omen,” was retired Sept. 21, 2015, after more than 20 years of service. “Bad Omen” last deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in December 2013 where it accumulated approximately 600 combat hours and flew more than 100 sorties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

An AC-130U Spooky taxis under a water arch before its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. The AC-130U Spooky “Bad Omen” is the first “U” model to retire to the Bone Yard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Az. “Bad Omen” was delivered to Hurlburt Field on Feb. 17, 1995, during which time it flew more than 2,300 sorties with approximately 5,600 landings and more than 10,000 hours of flight time.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

An AC-130U Spooky taxis under a water arch before its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. The AC-130U Spooky “Bad Omen” is the first “U” model to retire with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. “Bad Omen” was delivered to Hurlburt Field on Feb. 17, 1995. During its service, it flew more than 2,300 sorties with approximately 5,600 landings and more than 10,000 hours of flight time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

An AC-130U Spooky takes off for its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. The AC-130U Spooky “Bad Omen” is the first "U" model to retire to the Bone Yard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Az. “Bad Omen” was delivered to Hurlburt Field on Feb. 17, 1995, during which time it flew more than 2,300 sorties with approximately 5,600 landings and more than 10,000 hours of flight time.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

An AC-130U Spooky takes off for its retirement flight at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 21, 2015. The AC-130U Spooky “Bad Omen” is the first "U" model to retire with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. “Bad Omen” was delivered to Hurlburt Field on Feb. 17, 1995. During its service, it flew more than 2,300 sorties with approximately 5,600 landings and more than 10,000 hours of flight time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kai White)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The first AC-130U Spooky gunship to retire from the active fleet flew from its home here following a small ceremony Sept. 21.

The gunship, named "Bad Omen," was delivered to Hurlburt Field Feb. 17, 1995. Following the ceremony, "Bad Omen" flew to it's retirement home with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Base, Ariz.

"'Bad Omen' flew more than 2,300 sorties with approximately 5,600 landings and accumulated more than 10,000 hours," said Karl Cirulis, 4th Special Operations Squadron pilot. "'Bad Omen' was last deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in December 2013 where it accumulated approximately 600 combat hours and flew more than 100 sorties."

Tail number 0163 had one of its most successful sorties over Afghanistan July 21, 2011. The aircraft arrived on station to support a task force when the task force started taking fire from all sides.

"The gunship began to take direct action and -- true to 'U' model form, the crew performed eight separate engagements using infrared and TV dual-target attacks," said Cirulis. "It fired 146 40mm cannon rounds and 41 105mm rounds to end the engagement."

The AC-130U fleet will remain engaged in worldwide operations until the modernized AC-130J arrives, which is projected to achieve initial operating capability in 2018

Air Force Special Operations Command's roadmap is to replace existing variants of the AC-130 with 37 AC-130J Ghostriders in a single configuration with an advanced suite of sensors and precision weapons.Specifically, the AC-130J will have a precision strike package, which includes a mission management console, robust communications suite, two electro-optical/infrared sensors, advanced fire control equipment, precision guided munitions delivery capability as well as trainable 30mm and 105mm weapons.