September 23, 2020 (by SrA Dylan Gentile) - On June 5, 2020, a 5th Special Operations Squadron crew flew an all-Reserve AC-130 mission for the first time in 25 years on an AC-130J Ghostrider. The last fully Reserve manned AC-130 mission was flown in 1995 on an AC-130A Spectre.
A group of 5th SOS Airmen pose in front of a AC-130J Ghostrider #16-5861 from 4th SOS on June 5, 2020, Hurlburt Field. This flight was the first time since 1995 that an AC-130J crew was entirely composed of U.S. Air Force reservists. [Photo courtesy of SMSgt. Christopher Sentilles]
“The Air Force Special Operations Command family has seen so much growth and advancement over the past 25 years,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Sentilles, a 5th SOS flight instructor. “Walking off the AC-130A and onto the AC-130J Ghostrider, the 5th SOS eclipsed a major milestone.”
The AC-130J Ghostrider's primary mission is close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense.
“I’m very proud of my crew for working around the clock to get where we are today,” said Sentilles. “This flight was special. It highlighted the ability of Citizen Air Commandos to get things done.”