The final C-130 assets returned to Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, Fla., following the final rotation to Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn.
The two MC-130P Combat Shadows and aircrew returned Jan. 6, 2012. An AC-130U Spectre Gunship returned Dec. 27, 2011, to the 4th Special Operations Squadron, while the first Combat Shadow returned Dec. 28, 2011, to the 9th Special Operations Squadron.
The aircraft and aircrew represent the end of Hurlburt Field’s commitment to the OND mission.
“The return of these aircraft marks a significant event in Hurlburt's history,” said Col. Jim Slife, commander of 1st Special Operations Squadron. “Since February 2003, our people and assets have steadily deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, defining the Air Commando spirit every step of the way. Although this aircraft's arrival signifies the end of one chapter, we remain engaged in operations around the globe and vigilant in the defense of our country's freedom.”
The 4th SOS flew 5,700 sorties and 34,000 hours while the 9th SOS flew 8,221 sorties and 12,094 hours in support of OIF and OND.