New Life, New MissionMC-130 retires, becomes crew chief, armament trainer at Sheppard AFB
An MC-130P Combat Shadow took off from Moffett Federal Field, Calif., March 21, 2018, with more than a new destination on the flight plan. After decades of serving a variety of roles – search and rescue come to mind as well as snagging film canisters jettisoned from satellites and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere – the workhorse of the Air Force will continue its service in a new capacity as a ground instructional training aircraft for crew chief and armament apprentice courses at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
An air force special operations command armament career field manager identified a deficiency in training special missions airmen in the 363rd training squadron's armament schoolhouse during a Utilization and Training workshop in 2016, specifically loading GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb systems on the wings of C-130 aircraft.
Through the coordinated efforts of multiple organizations in the 82nd Training Wing including the 362nd and 363rd TRS's, the 982nd maintenance squadron and other agencies at all levels of the air force, the 82nd trw was able to acquire an mc-130p Combat Shadow that was capable of meeting the armament training requirements as well as those for crew chief training.
MC-130P Combat Shadow, tail No. 66-0223, arrives at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 21, 2018
Two T-38C Talons from the 80th Flying Training Wing land as an MC-130P Combat shadow from the California Air National Guard taxis to the apron at Bldg. 1360 at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 21, 2018. The retired C-130 is being converted to a training aircraft for 362nd Training Squadron crew chief apprentice students and 363rd Training Squadron special missions armament students.
A California Air National Guard MC-130P Combat Shadow taxis at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
The last crew to fly MC-130P Combat Shadow, Tail No. 66-0223